Home   Publication   A new method of walking rehabilitation using cognitive tasks in an adult chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) with a disability: a case study.
Sakuraba Y, Tomonaga M, Hayashi M (2016) A new method of walking rehabilitation using cognitive tasks in an adult chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) with a disability: a case study. Primates Volume 57, Issue 3, pp 403-412
Media Coverage
This recently published article (Sakuraba, Y et al. 2016) is the third *1 reporting on the chimpanzee, Reo, at the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University. This article has featured in Springer Select: hand-picked as one of the ‘must-read’ Springer articles by the Springer Editorial Team. Fortunately, it is currently open access (until 3rd September, 2016. Click here). If you are interested in this story, be sure to read the summary in the Editorial by Editor-in-Chief of Primates, Professor Tetsuro Matsuzawa (Click here). Please check them out.

*1 Previous papers about Reo (Miyabe-Nishiwaki et al. 2010; Hayashi et al. 2013) are available on our website.

Yoko Sakuraba , Masaki Tomonaga, Misato Hayashi

A new method of walking rehabilitation using cognitive tasks in an adult chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) with a disability: a case study.

Primates. doi: 10.1007/s10329-016-0541-3




Abstract

There are few studies of long-term care and rehabilitation of animals which acquired physical disabilities in captivity, despite their importance for welfare. An adult male chimpanzee named Reo at the Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University, developed acute myelitis, inflammation of the spinal cord, which resulted in impaired leg function. This report describes a walking rehabilitation system set up in a rehabilitation room where he lives. The rehabilitation apparatus consisted of a touch monitor presenting cognitive tasks and a feeder presenting food rewards at a distance of two meters from the monitor, to encourage him to walk between the monitor and the feeder repeatedly. Initially, Reo did not touch the monitor, therefore we needed adjustment of the apparatus and procedure. After the habituation to the monitor and cognitive tasks, he started to show behaviors of saving food rewards without walking, or stopping participation to the rehabilitation. Finally it took seven phases of the adjustment to determine the final setting; when the monitor automatically displayed trials in 4-h, AM (1000?1200 hours) and PM (1400?1600 hours) sessions through a day, Reo spontaneously walked from the monitor to the feeder to receive rewards, and returned to the monitor to perform the next trial. Comparison of Reo’s locomotion in a no-task period and under the final setting revealed that the total travel distance increased from 136.7 to 506.3 m, movement patterns became multiple, and the percentage of walking increased from 1.2 to 27.2 % in PM session. The findings of this case study suggest that cognitive tasks may be a useful way to rehabilitate physically disabled chimpanzees, and thus improve their welfare in captivity.



Keywords

Chimpanzee, Physical disability, Walking rehabilitation, Animal welfare, Cognitive task



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