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Behavioral Management

One element of the Yerkes Research Center's extensive Animal Care is our Behavioral Management program,which includes providing socialization opportunities for the primates, offering a variety of environmental enrichment, applying animal training methods and assessing the behavior of the animals. Socialization is the primary method to support the welfare of animals used in research and is the cornerstone of the program. Enrichment methods include:

  • Feeding enrichment
  • Structural enrichment
  • Physical enrichment, such as manipulable objects and climbing structures devices permitting foraging, grooming and problem-solving
  • Sensory enrichment, such as music and videotape viewing and interactions with humans.

The Behavioral Management staff has also initiated a positive reinforcement animal training program to help facilitate animal care, research and veterinary procedures. Several behavioral management techniques are used concurrently for each primate; these techniques are specific to each animal based on the species, age and requirements of the research project.

Animal Care and Behavioral Management personnel implement daily enrichment and training. The program is dynamic, permitting modification of techniques in accordance with in-house assessments and findings from scientific literature.