Abstract # 165:

Scheduled for Friday, June 21, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 21 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


BEHAVIORAL EFFECTS OF TRANSPORTATION AND RELOCATION ON CAPTIVE CHIMPANZEES (PAN TROGLODYTES)

L. A. Reamer1, R. L. Haller1, E. J. Thiele1, S. J. Schapiro1,2 and S. P. Lambeth1
1Department of Veterinary Sciences, Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 650 Cool Water Dr., Bastrop, TX 78602, USA, 2Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Copenhagen and University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
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     Transportation and relocation of nonhuman primates is an important welfare issue. Due to variations in behavioral responses to transport and relocation across species, each species should be investigated separately. With the pending retirements of many laboratory chimpanzees, the value of studying the effects of relocation on this species should be obvious. Between 2006 and 2009, 72 chimpanzees were transported from the Primate Foundation of Arizona in Mesa, Arizona and relocated to the Keeling Center in Bastrop, Texas. While previous studies of physiological measures of transport stress in this species have demonstrated that subjects returned to baseline levels about 2 months after relocation, relatively few data have measured behavioral effects. We collected over 335 hours of behavioral data for 33 chimpanzees (10M, 23F) after arrival in Texas. All subjects were observed within their social groups for a total of 8 weeks following arrival. Analyses revealed that grooming – which has been shown as a behavioral indicator of stress – significantly differed across the 8 weeks (H=27.338, df=7, p<.001), with grooming rates highest during week one following arrival at the Keeling Center. Overall, this study provides a potential timeline for behavioral signs of stress due to relocation in captive chimpanzees and suggests that chimpanzees may appear behaviorally to have ‘recovered’ from the effects of transportation and relocation more quickly than they recover physiologically.