Enrichment for Colombian black spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris) in a zoo.

Berikning för Colombiansk svart spindelapa (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris) i en djurpark.

Studentarbete. Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, Skara. 28 Seiten.


The Colombian black spider monkey (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris) is critically endangered. The wild population is still decreasing and today there are no records of the actualpopulation size. Enrichment makes the animals keep their natural behaviours, which makes an eventual reintroduction to nature easier. The purpose of this study was to evaluate three different food enrichments for Colombian black spider monkeys. The purpose was also to try to come up with new ideas for enrichment suitable for the lifestyle and behaviour of spider monkeys. The attractiveness of branch balls, food puzzles for dogs and ice blocks, all filled with treats, was compared in order to determine the best enrichment for the spider monkeys. The food puzzles were used for the longest period of time and during a bigger proportion of time than the ice blocks, followed by the branch balls. But the branch balls made the frequencies of behaviours come the closest to those of wild spider monkeys. The literature study indicates that food enrichment is the most appreciated form of enrichment by spider monkeys. When empty, food enrichments lose their attractiveness. Though, in the end, a mix of different kinds of enrichment is what should be strived for, in order to fulfil all the needs of the spider monkeys, which increases their welfare and chances to later reproduce and survive in the wild.



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© Peter Dollinger, Zoo Office Bern hyperworx