Abstract # 4263 Event # 33:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 04:15 PM-04:30 PM: Session 8 (3rd Floor All Space) Oral Presentation


EFFECTS OF PLAY CAGING ON THE BEHAVIOR AND ENRICHMENT USE OF SINGLY-HOUSED RHESUS MACAQUES

C. Griffis1, A. L. Martin1,2, J. E. Perlman1 and M. A. Bloomsmith1
1Yerkes National Primate Res. Ctr., Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology
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     This study examined whether allowing 10 singly-housed adult male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) 2-week access to a larger play cage would increase their species-typical behavior and decrease anxiety and abnormal behavior. The play cage consisted of four interconnected cages equipped with several types of enrichment. Ten 30-minute focal animal behavioral observations were conducted for each study phase: Baseline with subjects in their home cage, treatment with subjects in a play cage, and follow-up after subjects were returned to their home cage. Data were analyzed using analyses of variance for repeated measures (ALPHA = .05). Subjects were more active (F(2, 18) = 21.17, p =.001), increased their manipulation of enrichment items (F(2, 18) = 19.78, p <.001), and decreased abnormal behavior (F(2, 18) = 4.54, p =.025) while in the play cage as compared to their home cage. The duration of these behaviors returned to baseline levels once animals returned to their home cages. Anxiety behaviors decreased throughout the study period (F(2, 18) = 6. 49, p =.008). A space use analysis was also conducted in the play cage, with subjects showing preferences (83% of scans) for the upper quadrants (CHI SQUARE 2(3) = 57.68, p < .001). The findings provide support for the 8th Edition Guide (2011) recommendation to provide intermittent access to larger, more enriched environments for animals that are singly-housed for prolonged periods.