Camacho, J., Morris, J. 2018. Breaking down the barriers: Social housing of previously single-housed adult baboons. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 5(4) (December), 55-57.
An important responsibility of each institution is to challenge preconceived notions that may limit social housing. At our institution’s center for comparative medicine (CCM), we recently challenged a historical mindset that 2 large (>25 kg) male baboons with a long-term history of single-housing (>8 y) could not be social housed. Following our standard departmental non-human primate social housing algorithm used for rhesus macaques, long-tailed macaques, and hamadrya baboons, we could successfully pair-house these animals with 1) partnership between the investigator team, the IACUC, and the CCM, 2) minor modifications to our pairing process, and 3) minor modifications to their cages. With the development of a thoughtful and stepwise plan, we could accomplish what was once deemed unachievable. This approach could be applied to any NHP program, even those with limited resources and expertise. This article outlines the process.