Environmental enrichment is vital for the well-being of Japanese Macaques in captivity. It can stimulate both the brain and body. It provides novelty and simulates behaviors found in the wild. For example, searching and foraging for food.
Below, you’ll find some of the enrichment that we do for the Japanese Macaques. They are cared for at the Reptilienauffangstation (Reptile Sanctuary) in Munich. I am fortunate enough to volunteer each week.
I’m so passionate about primates that I hold a degree in primatology. I also used to teach primate programs at the Calgary Zoo and have participated in research studies of howler monkeys in Belize. And I have even volunteered at a chimpanzee sanctuary in Spain.
In addition to providing enrichment for the macaques and marmosets at the Reptile Sanctuary, I also offer primate tours through Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel. These tours bring you to face to face with gorillas in Rwanda, lemurs in Madagascar and monkeys in Sri Lanka and much more.
Primate tourism when done properly can have a positive impact and significantly contribute to primate conservation.
Japanese Macaque Enrichment Videos:
How a Plastic Bottle Filled with Treats Keep Aoki, a Japanese macaque entertained for over an hour.
This enrichment activity has been so popular that we keep repeating it. Watch how Aoki adapts his technique to get out different kinds of treats. Through trial and error, he further refines his technique each time we give him a bottle. For further information on this enrichment activity see Stuffed Plastic Bottle.
How do Japanese macaques decide what to eat first?
Just like people, behavior for Japanese macaques varies from individual to individual. Take a look at how different Alison and Aoki approach the same food. Their approach to food is also influenced by their hierarchy. Aoki is dominant so he’s in no rush. Alison, on the other hand, is subordinate to Aoki so she’s quick to eat her food. Before he gets it.