CZAAWE Resource Article

Effects of Three Food Enrichment Items on the Behavior of Black Lemurs (Eulemur macaco macaco) and Ringtail Lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Henson Robinson Zoo, Springfield, Illinois
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
2006
Publication/Journal 
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Abstract 
This study tested 3 food enrichment items mentioned in a laboratory primate newsletter with 6 adult Eulemur macaco and 3 adult Lemur catta to examine whether the items would affect the behavior of the lemurs. The results suggest that Food Enrichment Item 3 (a wire box filled with whole grapes, apples, or both hidden in straw hung from a branch within the enclosure) caused a significant decrease in the incidence of resting and a significant increase in the incidences of playing and grooming, with no significant effect on the incidence of feeding or foraging. The lemurs' behavior appeared to be most affected by the food enrichment item that required the most manipulation, closely followed by an enrichment that required a moderate amount of manipulation. The order of the exposure to the food enrichment items and the day of the week appear to have an attenuation effect on these behaviors and did affect the incidence of 3 stereotypic behaviors exhibited by a male L. catta such that 3 behaviors declined in occurrence as the study progressed.