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Environmental Enrichment

Image credit: Nahirí Rivera

The Behavioral Management and Environmental Enrichment Program (BMEEP) encourages a diverse display of species-typical behaviors from the SSFS captive colony. The BMEEP provides for both physical and psychological well-being of its captive primate population by maximizing the environmental enrichment of its facilities with the main purpose of decreasing the occurrence of stereotypical behaviors and increasing the animal’s ability to keep active and reduce boredom. The SSFS is surrounded by a subtropical forest, this optimal location provides the monkeys with natural surroundings that allow them to enjoy visual and auditory stimuli (e.g. rainfall, wind, birds, etc.) similar to those encountered in their natural environment.  Because of the social nature of the species housed at the SSFS, every effort is made to facilitate social development by housing animals together and by providing mechanisms for animals to engage in exploratory, locomotor, and social play. The primary objective of the BMEEP is to create and maintain a healthy psychological and social environment for the rhesus macaques, which ultimately impacts the research in a positive manner and produces more reliable research results.