Interspecies pair housing of macaques in a research facility

Department of Comparative Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
Laboratory Animals (Impact Factor: 1.12). 01/2012; 46(2):170-2. DOI: 10.1258/la.2011.011134
Source: PubMed


The eighth edition of The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals establishes social housing as the 'default' for social species including non-human primates. The advantages of social housing for primates have been well established, but small research facilities housing few primates in indoor cages have struggled with social housing as a result of limitations on appropriate housing and availability of compatible monkeys. Here, we report a novel approach to pair housing macaques - crossing species. We have successfully pair housed an intact male rhesus macaque with an intact male cynomolgus macaque, and an adult female rhesus macaque with numerous subadult female cynomolgus macaques. Monkeys in these pairs established dominant-subordinate relationships similar to same-species pairs. Rhesus and cynomolgus macaques can be successfully paired for the purpose of social housing in facilities with limited numbers of monkeys.

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