On the care and feeding of feces-flinging primates
February 1, 2014 12:19 PM   Subscribe

This is a question for the zookeepers of MetaFilter.

How do zoo staff deal with the issue of monkeys flinging excrement at zoo visitors? Do you employ behavior modification? Do you isolate them, take them out of the display area when they're misbehaving? Is it a matter of managing the relationships among the monkeys, i.e. making sure that these two aren't on display at the same time, etc?

Many thanks in advance.
posted by jason's_planet to Pets & Animals (2 answers total)
Wasn't one I worked at, but I recall one zoo had prominent warning signs about not teasing the monkeys because they would do just that. It does tend to be a response to teasing, rather than just something they do; find the root cause of the behavior and fix it. Monkey bored? Give more enrichment. Monkey afraid? Give security. Etc. (Zookeeper degree, not currently working for a zoo tho.)
posted by The otter lady at 4:22 PM on February 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

The zoo I worked at had glass around the enclosure partly for that reason and partly to keep the monkeys safe.

Stupid people would throw trash, food, and cigarettes into the cages. Most of the primates were pretty cool about us going between the cage and the window to wash the inside, but there were a couple jerks. One wasn't a flinger, but would pull hair and tear clothes for the LOLs. The chimp just wanted to sit and hold your hand through the bars.
*broken heart*
posted by BlueHorse at 2:33 PM on February 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

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