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Behavioral abnormalities in captive nonhuman primates

By Mallapur Avanti, B. C. Choudhury

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In this study, we dealt with 11 species of non-human primates across 10 zoos in India. We recorded behaviour as instantaneous scans between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. In the study, we segregated behaviours for analyses into abnormal, undesirable, active, and resting. The 4 types of abnormal behaviour exhibited included floating limb, self-biting, self-clasping, and stereotypic pacing. In the study, we recorded 2 types of undesirable behaviour autoerotic stimulation and begging. Langurs and group-housed macaques did not exhibit undesirable behaviours. A male lion-tailed macaque and a male gibbon exhibited begging behaviour, autoerotic stimulation and self-biting occurred rarely. Males exhibited higher levels of undesirable behaviour than did females. Animals confiscated from touring zoos, circuses, and animal traders exhibited higher levels of abnormal behaviours than did animals reared in larger, recognized zoos. The stump-tailed macaque was the only species to exhibit floating limb, autoerotic stimulation, self-biting, and self-clasping. Our results show that rearing experience and group composition influence the proportions of abnormal behaviour exhibited by non-human primates in captivity. The history of early social and environmental deprivation in these species of captive non-human primates probably is critical in the development of behavioural pathologies. Establishing this will require further research.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 6
Issue 4
Pages 275-284
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1207/s15327604jaws0604_2
Language English
Author Address Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India.avantim@yahoo.com
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animal roles
  5. Animals
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Asia
  8. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  9. Commonwealth of Nations
  10. Developing countries
  11. Deviant behavior
  12. India
  13. Mammals
  14. peer-reviewed
  15. Primates
  16. sex differences
  17. vertebrates
  18. Zoo and captive wild animals
  1. peer-reviewed