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Housing relocation does not have to induce a significant stress response in captive Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata).

BACKGROUND: Previous studies suggest that housing relocation may be stressful for captive non-human primates. Our study investigated the stress levels of Japanese macaques during a housing relocation by measuring their daily fecal cortisol metabolites, which are often used as an indicator of stress.

METHODS: Ten adult Japanese macaques, single-housed for research purposes, were relocated to a new facility. Fecal samples were collected daily for 7 days. Cortisol metabolite concentrations were determined via enzyme immunoassay.

RESULTS: No significant differences in cortisol metabolite levels were found in 7 days, but concentration levels showed that the highest median was associated to the relocation day.

CONCLUSIONS: The minimal cortisol metabolite increase suggests that there was a slight activity increase in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Techniques encouraging cooperation of the monkeys, the short time duration of the relocation, and consistency in the environment may have contributed to the minimal stress levels observed.

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