Abstract # 2608 Event # 14:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009 09:45 AM-09:55 AM: Session 2 (Shell Room) Oral Presentation


COMPARISON OF INTRODUCTION STRATEGIES: GRADUAL VS PROTECTED CONTACT IN MACAQUES

J. Sullivan, K. Schultz, N. Goecks, M. Rosga and C. Cruzen
Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, 1220 Capitol Ct, Madison, Wisconsin 53715, USA
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Socialization for laboratory-housed macaques (Macaca mulatta and M. fascicularis) is important for welfare and can be challenging. Many methods are used to establish socialization in captivity including gradual socialization and protected contact. The gradual socialization method, an established method at the WNPRC, introduces animals in successive full contact events of increasing duration. The protected contact socialization method, used in a similar facility, introduces animals via protected contact panels prior to full contact pairing. To determine which method yields the highest percentage of successful pairs, we compared these two methodologies. Newly formed pairs of macaques are deemed initially successful after one month of compatibility. Histories were reviewed on 56 singly housed females to determine best pairing options. The prospective pairs were then randomly assigned to one of the two socialization methods. Of the 28 pairs of animals introduced, 15 were created utilizing the gradual socialization method and 13 were created utilizing the protected contact socialization method. The gradual method resulted in 11/15 [73%] successful pairs while the protected contact method resulted in 7/13 [53%] successful pairs. The gradual socialization method is more successful than the protected contact socialization method for initial success in pair formation. We plan to continue to monitor the pairs for any impact on long-term success rates.