Environmental enrichment is the emulation of the natural habitat, i.e. creating a landscape that imitates the monkey’s natural environment. The design and modification of the landscape must be done frequently.
The NPRCT-CU provides 2 types of foods, 2 times a day, on a daily basis:
Monkey chow (purchased from Perfect Companion Group Company, Thailand) in the morning (10.00 am)
Fresh fruits and vegetables (purchased from local store) in the afternoon (15.00 pm)
Fresh fruits and vegetables are varied based on availability and season. List includes bananas, tomatoes, cucumbers, lemon grass, sweet potato, yam bean, carrot and papaya. However, the nutritional and caloric intakes are taken into consideration.
Social enrichment is extremely important for the monkeys’ psychological welfare.
It encourages physical activity, maintains a playful behavior, establishes social status, maintains and increases natural behavior and grooming and provides mental support.
Monkeys are social animals, an therefore lack of social interactions may lead them to stereotypical behavior, experimental protocols sometimes demand solitary housing. This may cause severe stereotypical behaviors which directly affect the research itself.