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Early rearing interacts with temperament and housing to influence the risk for motor stereotypy in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

By Jessica J. Vandeleest, Brenda McCowan, John P. Capitanio

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Abstract

Laboratory and zoo housed non-human primates sometimes exhibit abnormal behaviors that are thought to reflect reduced well-being. Previous research attempted to identify risk factors to aid in the prevention and treatment of these behaviors, and focused on demographic (e.g. sex or age) and experience-related (e.g. single housing or nursery rearing) factors. However, not all animals that display abnormal behavior possess these risk factors and some individuals that possess a risk factor do not show behavioral abnormalities. We hypothesized that other aspects of early experience and individual characteristics might identify animals that were more likely to display one specific abnormal behavior, motor stereotypy (MS). Using logistic regression we explored the influence of early rearing (involving four different types of rearing conditions), and variation in temperament, on likelihood of displaying MS while controlling for previously identified risk factors. Analyses indicated that having a greater proportion of life lived indoors, a greater proportion of life-indoors singly housed, and a greater number of anesthesias and blood draws significantly increased the risk of displaying MS (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 132
Issue 1
Pages 81-89
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.02.010
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  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. temperament