Abstract # 7:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:40 AM-11:00 AM: Session 2 (Meeting Room 408) Oral Presentation


STRUCTURES AND FUNCTIONS THAT FACILITATE THE VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION OF CHIMPANZEES IN RESEARCH/MEDICAL PROCEDURES

S. J. Schapiro, S. P. Lambeth, R. Malling and E. Thiele
UTMDACC, Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine, DVS, Bastrop, TX 78602, USA
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     Training captive nonhuman primates to voluntarily participate in a variety of necessary research and medical procedures is a valuable refinement in the management of captive primates. For the purposes of this talk, training programs require at least two things to be effective; 1) skilled trainers and 2) facilities that provide appropriate access to the animals, while maintaining a safe work environment, both for the animals and caregivers. Most nonhuman primates are housed in enclosures that are designed to provide considerable visual access to the animals, and these same enclosures are specifically designed to minimize the potential for dangerous tactile contact between animals and humans. To successfully train nonhuman primates, additional, though potentially dangerous, access to the animals is required. Access ports, which provide trainers with protected contact with the animals, are an essential design feature for the development and utilization of modern primate housing facilities. We will describe a number of access ports that are included in our chimpanzee enclosures, which not only provide access to the animals for training purposes and facilitate the training process, but also provide opportunities to implement additional behavioral management strategies. We will also describe how we take advantage of several other design features of our chimpanzee enclosures to facilitate the animals’ voluntary participation in medical and research procedures, significantly enhancing the management of the animals under our care.