Abstract # 5834 Poster # 79:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


PROMOTING WILD POSTURES: THE USE OF GUM-BASED ENRICHMENT IN INCREASING THE NATURAL BEHAVIORS OF RESCUED SLOW LORISES (NYCTICEBUS BENGALENSIS, N. PYGMAEUS AND N. COUCANG) IN THAILAND

S. A. Poindexter1,2 and K. A. Nekaris 1,2
1Oxford Brookes University , Oxford , United Kingdom, 2The Little FireFace Project
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     Nycticibus spp. are regularly found within the exotic pet trade throughout the world. Their growing popularity has continued to deplete wild populations and increase the number of slow lorises kept in captivity. Many slow lorises rescued from the pet trade are without their toothcomb, this prevents wild reintroduction and impedes on the captive management of this largely exudativorous species. From a welfare perspective, strategies need to be implemented to not only increase the quantity of exudates provided, but to offer those without a toothcomb an opportunity to emulate the behaviors used by their counterparts to access exudates. I sought to assess the effectiveness of providing acacia gum on promoting species-specific behaviors and postures. To accommodate individuals with and without a toothcomb, gum was offered wrapped in banana leaves and as an additive to existing branches within each of 8 enclosures. 360 hours of behavioral data was collected using instantaneous-scan sampling for 20 rescued Bengal, greater, and pygmy slow lorises. By providing gum-based enrichment observed slow lorises were encouraged to utilize a wider range of postures and behaviors. Using a paired-sample t-test we found a significant decrease in the passive posture of sitting and its associated behaviors (t=8.15, df= 19, p< .001). These findings shed light on an often-overlooked aspect of captive loris care, postural range, they also emphasis the benefits of provided exudates in captivity.