Abstract # 132:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 11:15 AM-11:30 AM: (Cascade H) Oral Presentation


POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING TO VOLUNTARILY PRESENT FOR INJECTION: IDENTIFYING FACTORS TO PREDICT COOPERATION WITH INJECTION OF ANESTHESIA IN CHIMPANZEES

J. E. Perlman1, A. N. Franklin1, C. R. Brennan2 and M. A. Bloomsmith1
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322
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The chimpanzee training program at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center prepares chimpanzees for anesthetic injections by using positive reinforcement training techniques. Training session and anesthetic injection outcomes were assessed over a three-year period for 71 chimpanzees, across 118 cases when they were anesthetized. Seventy percent of the chimpanzees voluntarily presented on at least one occasion. There was no sex difference in the proportion of subjects who were successful (53% of females, 64% of males; t(62), = -0.86, p = 0.39). Data were analyzed to determine training steps which may predict presenting for an anesthetic injection. The number of times chimpanzees had a needle perforate their skin during training sessions did not correlate with proportion of times they presented for an anesthetic injection (r = 0.15, p = 0.24), nor did the number of present for injection training sessions (r = 0.14, p = 0.27) as measured by Pearson correlation. Fisher's exact test indicated that accesses for chimpanzees who were trained with at least one temporary separation from their groups during 6 months prior (p = 0.048) or 6 sessions prior (p = 0.003) to an anesthetic injection were more likely to present. Behavioral managers, researchers and veterinarians can apply this information to best prepare chimpanzees for successful injections, an important aspect of promoting the welfare of captive chimpanzees.