Socialisation Programme for Capuchins | Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY)

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Frank Ballard

26 May 2018

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Socialisation Programme for Capuchins

Socialisation Programme for Capuchins

Physical contact with other capuchin monkeys is essential for forming healthy social bonds. Social bonds in turn improve overall well-being. Most monkeys kept as pets fail to learn skills to interact with other monkeys. This leads to behavioural problems that make future reintroduction into the wild impossible.

We see the negative consequences of keeping monkeys as pets on a daily basis. However, we have developed a new socialization programme to slowly develop social bonds among our capuchins.

Newton and Sidum, two capuchin monkeys who part of Parque Machia's socialisation programme, groom each other
Newton and Sidum, two capuchin monkeys who part of Parque Machia’s socialisation programme, groom each other

Our new system

We use a system of cages that connect using tunnels. Each tunnel has two small doors to separate the monkeys. Both doors are closed at first to maintain a safe distance between the two. We then observe how well neighboring capuchins get along. When we notice frequent visual contact, we open the first door. This allows the monkeys to make their first physical contact through spaces in the second door.

If the interactions between the two capuchins remain positive, we open the second door. This allows them to enjoy each other without any barrier. Our main objective is to recreate the life they would have in nature, and creating a stable social group is essential to doing so.

Newton and Sidum, two capuchin monkeys who part of Parque Machia’s socialisation programme, groom each other
And groom some more!

An early success story

This programme has enjoyed early success. We had never observed Newton or Sidum groom before. Now they spend time each day preening, playing, and generally enjoying time together. We have observed a marked improvement in each monkey’s wellbeing, particularly that of Sidum.

We look forward to improving the programme and witnessing more success stories like Newton and Sidum’s. To expand the programme, we will need to build and maintain new enclosures. Please consider supporting us to fund this extremely important project. Visit our Donate page today.