Animal Diaries Archive
Primates are currently off display
8 August 2008You may have read our last article on primate diets and how important it is to ensure our animals receive a well balanced diet. It is just as vital for us to ensure our animals are getting the correct intake of their diet. To help us determine the appropriate amount to feed, we regularly weigh all of our animals.
Weighing is extremely important to help us monitor our animals’ health and well being, as any weight loss or weight gain could be indicative of a health or nutritional problem. All of our primates are weighed at least once a week and their weights are recorded so we can monitor any changes easily.
For our tiny tamarins we use small electronic kitchen scales, on top of the scales we place a little T-perch, this enables our tamarins to easily perch on the scales and give an accurate weight reading. Our lemurs use a similar set up, just on a larger scale. Scales with a T-board placed on top to enable them to comfortably sit on top.
There is a huge difference in weight between some of our primates here. On the smaller end of the scale we have our Cotton Top Tamarins. Nacho for example weighs in at a tiny 585 grams (shhh don’t let Nacho hear me mention the word tiny). Nacho may weigh not much more than your average tub of margarine, but he certainly has a personality as big as a silver back gorilla!
On the other end of the scale we have our Black and White Ruffed Lemurs, weighing in on average at around 3.6 kg. Our Ring Tailed Lemurs fall in the middle averaging a weight of around 3 kg.
Weighing also forms an important part of our training programme for our primates. Weigh day is always a fun day here in the primates department. All of our wonderful kids are always more than willing to be weighed as they know they get some yummy treats in return. Sometimes it can be quite an effort to avoid having two or three lemurs on the scales together.