• The Efficacy of Socially Housing Geriatric Monkeys with a Long History of Single Housing

      Callaway, Karen; Saul, Bruce; Department of Biological Sciences (2016-03)
      Nonhuman primates (NHP) play a significant role in scientific research with issues ranging from Alzheimer's to heart disease. As scientists and veterinarians, it is critical to ensure the physical and psychological well-being of these important research animals. The 2011 Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide) states all gregarious animals in research environments should be socially housed. While the trend has been moving towards socially housing these animals, the process has been gradual, and is sometimes hindered by their research functions. Since the changes to the “Guide” are relatively recent, in addition to research-related limitations, there are adult and geriatric animals that have been singly housed the majority of their lives. NHPs singly housed for prolonged periods of time are among the most difficult to integrate socially. This project examines the efficacy of socially housing geriatric rhesus monkeys singly housed for most of their lives. We predicted (1) heterosexual pairs would yield a higher success rate than isosexual pairs and (2) overall pairing success rate would be lower in socially isolated geriatrics than for previously published reports of pairing success for younger animals without a history of social isolation. Our results were consistent with these predictions.