The proximal causes of self-injurious behavior have been widely studied in
captive primates; either social or nonsocial factors can trigger this type of
behavior. Social factors include changes in group composition, stress,
separation from the group, approaches by or aggression from members of other
groups, con-specifparrots400big male individuals nearby, separation from females,
and removal from the group.[2] Social isolation, particularly disruptions
of early mother-rearing experiences, is an important risk factor.Studies
have suggested that, although mother-reared rhesus macaques still exhibit
some self-injurious behaviors,[3] nursery-reared rhesus macaques are much
more likely to self-abuse than mother-reared ones.[1] Nonsocial factors
include the presence of a small cut, a wound or irritant, cold weather,
human contact, and frequent zoo visitors.[2] For example, a study has
shown that zoo visitor density positively correlates with the number of
gorillas banging on the barrier, and that low zoo visitor density caused
gorillas to behave in a more relaxed way. Captive animals often cannot
escape the attention and disruption caused by the general public, and the
stress resulting from this lack of environmental control may lead to an
increased rate of self-injurious behaviors.

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