I have created this page to help fund my Master's dissertation research at OPR Coastal Primate Sanctuary in Longview, WA, where I will be studying stress and abnormal behavior in primates that have been retired from research or previously owned as pets. This research will not only help the primates at OPR live healthier, happier lives, but help give researchers and caregivers a better understanding of the needs of primates in captivity. All donations will go towards making this research possible and any excess funds will go directly to the care of the OPR primates.
Follow my progress at: http://monkeysonthemend.blogspot.com/
Thank you for your support and please read more below to learn more about my research and the primates of OPR!
The OPR Primates:
I will be working with 10 macaques, all with very unique needs. They all come from compromised rearing backgrounds and many of them have been abused and neglected. As a result, many of them have developed abnormal behaviors that have interefered with the rehabilitation process and even resulted in self-inflicted injury. With your help, these monkeys will have a better chance of recovery and living a full, stress-free life.
Meet some of the macaques!
Tyler has been diagnosed with autism, which has made it difficult to pair him with another macaque for housing. He was turned over to OPR by his owner when she realized he was not a suitable pet.
Eve was kept in a small parakeet cage by her previous owners, and has developed the habits of sucking her thumb and bouncing in place. These behaviors have decreased since coming to OPR but have not completely stopped.
Before Summer came to OPR she suffered 17 years of cruel abuse. She was kept illegally by owners that forced her to wear clothes and had all of her teeth removed. She came to OPR malnourished and permanently disfigured from wearing a diaper for so many years. Summer has improved drastically since coming to OPR but still displays many atypical and self-harming behaviors.
OPR has already done so much to help these macaques and many others. Learn more by visiting their website!
I will investigate physiological, behavioral, and cognitive measures of well-being and then combine these results to create individualized treatment plans, taking into account the history and unique needs of each primate.
What makes my research unique?
I will use a measure of emotional state that has only been investigated twice in primates. Previous research on humans has found that a person's emotional state affects how they make decisions, with a negative emotional state leading them to expect negative outcomes, and a positive emotional state leading them to anticipate positive outcomes. I will adapt this idea to primates by examining the choices they make when presented with ambiguous stimuli.
Also, most research on rehabiliation efforts use only one measure of stress and address major problems at a group level. I will be using three different measures of well-being (stress hormone levels, prevelence of abnormal behavior, and positive/negative emotional state) and will then address problems on an individual level, taking into account the unique preferences, needs, and backgrounds of each animal.
All donations will go towards paying for hormonal analysis, cognitive testing equipment and food rewards, and enrichment materials.
Thank you for your support!
- Catherine Holmes
- Holly Moore
- Art & Cheryl Hall
- George Cannon
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