Huber, H. F., Lewis, K. P. 2011. An assessment of gum-based environmental enrichment for captive gummivorous primates. Zoo Biology 30(1), 71-78.
In the wild, many primates consume gums exuded from trees, and many species are gum specialists. In spite of this, few data exist concerning gum feeding in captivity. Using a web-based survey of 46 zoos in 12 countries, we evaluated the extent to which zoos feed gum to primates. We found that although callitrichids and galagos receive gum-based enrichment, cercopithecines generally do not. Environmental enrichment is important for stimulating naturalistic behavior to promote the psychological wellbeing of animals. Thus, gum-based enrichment is important for captive gummivores. Our study highlights the need to improve environmental enrichment for captive gummivores, in particular that of cercopithecines. This is most striking for the patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas), an obligate gummivore.