Volume 57 (2008) Issue 5 Pages 433-437
The majority of newly acquired nonhuman primates encounter serious problems adapting themselves to new environments or facilities. In particular, loss of appetite and abnormal behavior can occur in response to environmental stresses. These adaptation abnormalities can ultimately have an affect on the animal's growth and well-being. In this study, we evaluated the affects of a puzzle feeder on the food intake and abnormal behavior of newly acquired rhesus monkeys for a short period. The puzzle feeder was applied to 47- to 58-month-old animals that had never previously encountered one. We found that there was no difference in the change of food intake between the bucket condition and the puzzle feeder condition. In contrast, the time spent for consumption of food was three times longer in the puzzle feeder condition than in the bucket condition. Two monkeys initially exhibited stereotypic behavior. One showed a decreasing, and the other an increasing pattern of abnormal behavior after introduction of the puzzle feeder. In conclusion, this result suggests that over a short period, the puzzle feeder can only affect the time for food consumption since it failed to affect the food intake and did not consistently influence stereotypic behaviors in newly acquired rhesus monkeys.