People, J., MacAulay, C. 2021. Laboratory primate enrichment ideas. Animal Technology and Welfare 20(2), 177-183.
There are several items we often use in animal facilities that when finished with are thrown away. However, many of these items come in packaging that can be recycled as enrichment for our animals, particularly facilities housing primates. The ideas we have found to be most successful are when enrichment is used in novel and more challenging ways of presenting the monkeys with food. In this presentation these are a number of enrichment ideas using a range of common materials found in animal facilities, that we at Cambridge have made and used over the previous year or so with our macaques and we hope may provide other facilities with ideas on how to recycle such materials for use as enrichment. By recycling materials commonly found in the facility as enrichment, we have been able to provide our monkeys with novel and challenging ways of presenting food. We have found that by doing so, together with feeding a wider variety of forage types, the monkeys have been more active following feeding and have anticipated feeding times with more excitement. We have also found that the monkey’s interest is maintained for longer periods of time than when forage is scattered onto the cage floor, as it requires more effort to reach. In group housed monkeys, by using a number of different foraging enrichment spread throughout the enclosure, it has given the subordinate monkeys more chance of getting an equal share of food.