Abstract # 73:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


T. L. Meeker, M. M. Crane, G. I. Aylor, D. Mesa-Osorio and J. K. Cohen
Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Division of Animal Resources, Lawrenceville, GA 30043, USA
     Sooty mangabeys are the natural host of SIV and provide a unique resource for infectious disease studies, as they do not develop clinical AIDS despite having high viral titers. Yerkes National Primate Research Center has maintained a colony of Sooty Mangabeys since 1968. Efforts to breed this colony recently resumed after a 10-year moratorium, but reproductive complications arose. Specifically, an increased number of orphaned infants requiring introduction to either biological or surrogate mothers occurred. Here, we describe the process of two successful introductions. The infants were placed with a suitable adult female for short intervals each day, up to five days a week for approximately one month, and observed for positive interactions. Maternal behaviors (e.g. ventrum carrying, grooming) and infant responses (e.g. clutching, attempting to nurse) were recorded. As positive interactions increased, the time together was extended and eventually became fulltime. Neither the biological nor the surrogate mothers were able to support the nutritional needs of their infants, and the infants were trained to approach the cage front for supplemental feedings. Initial evaluations suggest both pairings have a high probability of success. The first pair has now been housed together for six months and the second for approximately one month. This method of infant rearing is initially time-consuming, but can improve the management and welfare of this species by reducing the need to nursery-rear infants