23 March 2012

William and Wince

Lonely William finds a mate! Volunteer Tine Rattel tells us more...
Long-tailed macaques like most primates are very sociable animals and live in large groups in the wild. William is one of our long-tailed macaques, he is heavily-built and is quite dominant. Housed all alone for years without any social contact, he showed a lot of stereotypical behaviour. For that reason, we always try to socialise new animals as soon as possible with other individuals of their species.

In general, it is easier to introduce males and females to each other, particularly if one or both animals have a dominant character. As much as we try to find a suitable partner for everybody, this can sometimes be difficult, particularly if we have a sex-ratio imbalance. Therefore, first of all William was introduced to Cheeta, one of our other long-tailed macaque males. We tried for a few days but they had a lot of fights so we decided to split them up again. It was not easy to find a suitable mate for William but finally Wince, a shy young female, came into the rescue centre. We placed both of them next to each other first for a few days after she came out of quarantine. The keepers saw them several times grooming each other through the wire mesh which was promising, so we let them both in together. There were no fights at all and we saw them immediately mating and grooming. William shows less abnormal behaviour since he is not on his own any more and we hope to see a continuing improvement over time. The next step will be to add two more females, Engkis and Herang to form gradually a social group which we will hopefully be able to release into the wild in the future.

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