Abstract # 53:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation

"More Fun with a Barrel Full of Monkeys" A Non-Human Primate Swing made from Recycling Plastic Barrels

E. Davis
NIH / NICHD, NIH ANIMAL Center, Shared Animal Facilities. P.O.Box 529, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA
     Providing a suitable living environment for many species of socially housed non-human primates can be both challenging and expensive, requiring institutions to be innovative and resourceful when devising their enrichment programs. Development, encouragement, and enhancement of species-typical behaviors should be the primary objectives when designing these man-made environments. One innovative way to enhance these behaviors is to incorporate them into the structural setting, since structures and furnishings are vital components of any captive living environment. Structures not only increase the usable cage volume area, they also provide animals with greater enrichment opportunities by engaging them in many types of species-typical activities. Our facilities enrichment program has developed a primate swing created from recycling our discarded plastic 30 and 55-gallon detergent barrels. These swings are easy to construct, taking approximately one hour of construction time in the workshop. Additionally, these swings are safe, portable, non-toxic, easy to sanitize, are almost indestructible, and are effective in increasing our animals’ behavioral repertoires. This poster presentation will detail the materials and steps necessary to construct a primate swing from recycled materials.