Abstract # 3114 Event # 4:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 09:40 AM-10:00 AM: Session 2 (Meeting Room 408) Oral Presentation


SQUIRREL MONKEY AND OWL MONKEY ENVIRONMENTS FOR RESEARCH

A. G. Brady and L. E. Williams
UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Michale Keeling Center for Comparative Med. & Res., 650 Cool Water Dr., Bastrop, TX 78602, USA
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     The driving forces for the design of non-human primate housing should include expression of species-typical behavior and provisions for good health. Two genera of Neotropical primates (Saimiri and Aotus) are housed in research colonies at the M.E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research. Saimiri carries a Herpesvirus that is fatal to Aotus, requiring building accommodations to isolate the colonies. Environmental enhancements include appropriate food items for each species; promoting exploration for the insectivorous Saimiri, and allowing for vigilance in Aotus. These are distributed through the environment to encourage foraging and movement. Bone abnormalities diagnosed previously were believed to be related to reduced ultraviolet light. Building changes allowed exposure to sunlight. Animals are provided control of their environment by using barriers that allow them to adjust exposure to light/dark, temperature gradients, and exposure to other animals. Perches and movable objects are provided to promote species typical motion and provide novel sensory stimuli. Cardiomyopathy is the major killer of adult Aotus and is believed to be stress-related. Building innovations allowed separation between families and reduced human contact to reduce stress. Waterfalls are provided to separate, both visually and auditorily, the nocturnal owl monkeys. Environments accounting for good health and decreased abnormal behaviour will increase the predictability of the animal’s behaviour during routine care and lead to better science by producing healthier, better acclimated subjects.