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Successful Mother- and Group-Rearing of a Newborn Capuchin Monkey (Cebus Capucinus) Following Emergency Major Surgery

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Abstract:

During capture, in order to separate him from a possessive adult female and return him to his mother, a newborn male in a laboratory group of Cebus Capucinus monkeys was found to have a seriously infected compound fracture of the humerus associated with a deep and extensive slash wound. Amputation of the affected limb was deemed necessary. Shortly after surgery the newborn was returned to his mother, in isolation from the group, with periodic removal for post-surgical care. Three weeks later the mother-newborn pair was returned to the social group and no further intervention occurred. Regular observations revealed mutual behavioural adjustments to the handicap by the mother and newborn. Compared to a normal age-mate, the amputee received more positive social attention from the mother and other group-members. Despite his showing delays in locomotor and manipulatory activities, the handicapped infant showed good behavioural progress. Early resocialization thus appears feasible following emergency surgery in newborn primates.

Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; BEHAVIOUR; DEVELOPMENT; MATERNAL BEHAVIOUR; REARING; SURGERY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1995

ufaw/aw/1995/00000004/00000003/art00003
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