New training makes primate transport smooth sailing!

Perth Zoo’s keepers are putting the primates through their paces to help make trips to the Vet Hospital stress-free. 

Medical attention and veterinary checks are a key part of the Zoo’s animal care. 

And while our dedicated keepers do everything with best practice animal welfare in mind, sometimes transporting an individual from their habitat to the hospital can be a little challenging. 

Primate keepers have been trialling a new induction box method to streamline the transportation process and help make it a positive experience for all involved.  

The training involves the animal choosing to enter a container in exchange for a small, tasty treat. 

Once munching away happily inside, the keeper can take the box to the awaiting Vet van for anaesthesia to be administered. 

That means the small primate does not need to be touched by hand and quickly dips into a relaxing, stress-free snooze!

Primate Keeper Mel Mirville said: “We have been doing this training with our Emperor Tamarins, Common Marmosets and Pygmy Marmosets, and we are really happy with the results! 

“This training will greatly reduce the stress around general anaesthetic procedures and necessary animal movements throughout the Zoo. 

“Not only is it much safer for the animal, but it also ensures relationships between keepers and our animals remain very positive.”

Relationships with animals are an incredibly important part of a keeper’s job. 

“One of the most important things we do as keepers is monitor our animals’ health,” Mel said. 

“If we aren’t able to get close enough or they don’t trust us in their space it can be really hard to manage their welfare and make sure they are living a healthy, happy life. 

“It’s really important animals are always comfortable with us entering their space so that we can continue to provide them with gold standard care.”

The new training will continue with small primate species behind the scenes. Stay tuned for more updates!