groups.2 Cages constructed of coated wire are very light and can be hung from the walls in easily sanitized rooms. On the basis of the experience of the Duke center, we recommend that the cages themselves be sanitized no more than once a month—and less often when infants are present. Cage-washing seems to be stressful to these animals, and there are no reports of infectious-disease problems or spread of disease among captive mouse and dwarf lemurs housed in cages cleaned even less frequently. To protect against falls when they are kept in indoor rooms, floors can be coated with about 5 cm (2 in) of sand or wood chips, which should be spot cleaned daily. "Nest boxes" composed of plastic tubing of various diameters to accommodate larger and smaller cheirogaleids are recommended.

The Indridae (indris and sifakas) have highly developed leaping abilities—individual jumps can be up to 7 m (23 ft) laterally—and they need more space and more vertical supports than do other prosimians. Small families have been successfully maintained in indoor rooms of 5 x 7 x 6 m (16.4 x 23 x 19.7 ft). In warmer climates, these animals can be released into large outdoor enclosures, but they will need access to heated shelter boxes during colder weather. Indrids stop feeding and enter such warm quarters long before sunset. Heat lamps should be in more than one location because males are sometimes excluded from choice sleeping sites.

Aye-ayes (Daubentoniidae) will gnaw cage structures with their large chisel-like front incisors and require sturdier housing than other prosimians. They are adept at climbing and leaping and have been bred successfully in an indoor room of 5 x 5 x 5 m (16.4 x 16.4 x 16.4 ft) with extensive vertical and horizontal branches as well as ropes and vines for climbing and swinging. They require a nest box for short periods of rest and daytime sleeping. Aye-ayes stuff their nest boxes with branches, leaves, or straw as available. They normally live independently in the wild, but when provided with two or more nest boxes, mixed-sex pairs can live together after a period of adjustment. Floors should be covered with wood chips to prevent injury from falls and to absorb the normally dry fecal material and urine. Daily spot cleaning and monthly replacement of chips have proven sufficient.

Lorises and galagos tolerate few others in small cages. Large cages and cages partitioned into several chambers connected by wire tunnels that can variously be closed off can be used for breeding. Males should be separated from newborn infants with double-wired partitions because they sometimes attack

2  

Although the use of this size cage represents an exception to the size recommended in the Guide and required by the Animal Welfare Regulations, it has been found satisfactory for very small prosimians and approved for such use by the USDA at the Duke Primate Center. Other facilities are encouraged to seek similar approval if using caging not in compliance with the regulations.



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