Effects of Species-Specific and Non Species-Specific Rearing Methods on the Socialization of Orphaned Chacma Baboons
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Baboons are treated as vermin in Africa, resulting in thousands of these animals orphaned and left to die each year. The Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education, C.A.R.E., located in Phalaborwa, South Africa, works to rehabilitate orphaned baboons, releasing them into the wild after years of preparation in order to do so. This preparation consists of socializing orphaned, infant baboons, ensuring they behave like normal baboons once released into the wild. Currently at C.A.R.E., the method of rearing an orphaned baboon is to closely emulate the environment an infant baboon would experience in the care of his or her mother. Much research (e.g. Silk et al., 2010a) has determined that properly socialized baboons exhibit certain behaviors, like grooming. This proposed study is designed to test four different rearing methods (species-specific and non species-specific) on the level of socialization a baboon develops over a 16-day period. Socialization is defined by a decrease in inappropriate behavior, biting the experimenter, and an increase in appropriate baboon behavior, grooming interactions with other baboons.
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