Abstract # 95:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 02:30 PM-02:45 PM: (Grand Ballroom) Oral Presentation


COMPARING ABNORMAL AND FEAR-RELATED BEHAVIOR UNDER TWO NURSERY REARING CONDITIONS FOR INFANT RHESUS MACAQUES

M. A. Bloomsmith, M. A. Truelove, J. Cowan-Brown, A. Martin and J. E. Perlman
Yerkes National Primate Res. Ctr., Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA
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     Two nursery rearing strategies for infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were compared to measure effects on abnormal and fear-related behavior. Changes made from the standard nursery-rearing procedures (SN) included earlier exposure to peers, frequent peer-group play sessions, the use of semi-mobile artificial surrogates, and rotational pairing in the alternative nursery (AN). A variety of abnormal behaviors and fear-related behavior was recorded using one-zero sampling three to five times weekly, until subjects were about one-year old. Thirty-nine percent of the infants (N = 56) developed at least one type of abnormal behavior by 6 months old, and this rose to 55.4% by one year of age. The AN had a lower percentage of individuals with abnormal behavior at one year of age (12.5%, 1/8 animals), compared with 62.5% (30/48 animals) in the SN (Fisher’s Exact Test, p = .017). Self-oral behavior was seen in 88.7% (n=53) of the subjects, with no difference in prevalence between nurseries. Fear-related behavior was observed in 17.9% of the infants and did not vary between the nurseries. This analysis provides evidence that nursery-rearing procedures can be important in preventing or reducing the expression of some abnormal behavioral patterns in young rhesus macaques, although perhaps not in fear-related behavior. New practices evaluated in the published literature are being effectively applied to improve the welfare of nursery-reared infant macaques.