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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 27:21-29 (2015)  -  DOI:

Trialling exudate-based enrichment efforts to improve the welfare of rescued slow lorises Nycticebus spp.

A. E. Gray1,2, Wirdateti3, K. A. I. Nekaris1,*

1Little Fireface Project, Nocturnal Primate Research Group, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK
2Save the Chimps, Inc., PO Box 12220, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA
3Research Center for Biology—LIPI, JL. Raya Jakarta-Bogor Km. 46, Jakarta-Bogor, Cibinong 16911, Indonesia
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Slow lorises Nycticebus spp. are heavily targeted in the illegal animal trade throughout Southeast Asia. Because lorises are venomous, many have their teeth inhumanely removed by animal traders in order to ‘tame’ them to live as pets or to be used for tourist photography. Confiscated animals are brought to rescue centres where captive care and rehabilitation has proven challenging. Many rescue centres report high mortality, high rates of abnormal behaviour, and low rates of successful reintroductions. Most centres, however, provide little or no gums or saps to these highly specialised exudativorous primates. Our study evaluated the effects of exudate-based enrichment efforts on confiscated wild-born slow lorises at a rescue centre in Java, Indonesia, including methods to provide exudates to animals lacking teeth. We found that these enrichment efforts prolonged foraging and feeding times, but did not reduce abnormal behaviour or promote social behaviour. We found a strong relationship between the amount of time spent on the ground and the time spent performing abnormal behaviour. We discuss the positive implications of prolonging feeding periods, the practicality of each of the enrichment efforts for different types of captive settings, and methods for improving the welfare of captive slow lorises via dietary changes.

KEY WORDS: Captive management · Exudativory · Primates · Conservation · Illegal wildlife trade

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Cite this article as: Gray AE, Wirdateti, Nekaris KAI (2015) Trialling exudate-based enrichment efforts to improve the welfare of rescued slow lorises Nycticebus spp.. Endang Species Res 27:21-29.

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