Abstract # 207:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES FOR ABANDONED RHESUS MONKEY INFANTS (MACACA MULATTA) IN AN SPF BREEDING COLONY PART II: ORPHANS

R. C. Stavisky, J. Cowan-Brown, G. Von Scherr, A. Cerqueda, K. Cummings, D. Mesa Osorio, I. Barnes, C. Docampo, K. Bailey, Z. Johnson and T. Meeker
Yerkes National Primate Research Center Field Station, Division of Animal Resources, 2409 Taylor Lane, Lawrenceville, GA 30043, USA
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     The Colony Management Unit at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center (YNPRC) Field Station has a high rate of success in fostering abandoned rhesus infants in the SPF Breeding Colony. However, it’s critical for Colony Management and Behavioral Management to also have a plan to raise abandoned or orphaned monkeys that maximizes appropriate social behaviors and minimizes stereotypical behaviors. In 2014, 12 orphans were successfully grouped with an adult male and two females. Prior to this run grouping, multiple housing conditions were utilized. During the initial 16 weeks, animals were either housed singly or in stable pairs. During the next 10 weeks, all animals were rotationally pair-housed on a weekly basis with daily 60 min group play sessions. Behaviors from each animal were recorded both in caging and during play at least 3 days a week for 5 min sessions. Infants were then merged into one group and placed into a run. Adults were introduced 48hr later. A significant reduction in digit sucking (t=8.43, p<0.0001) was observed once all animals were rotationally pair housed and play was initiated. Mean rates of occurrence decreased from 14.26 events to 3.4 per week. There was no additional decrease in rates of digit sucking once animals transitioned to run housing. These data suggest that social stimulation is critical to reduce stereotypical digit sucking in orphaned rhesus monkeys.