Social Housing of Rabbits

Social Housing of Rabbits


Hi, thank you guys all for coming today. So just to give you guys a little bit of background
about our program. I am from the University of Michigan, like
you mentioned, and if you are familiar at all with our program, we have a pretty huge
rabbit program. We average around 400 rabbits at any given
time. This number can fluctuate greatly. We’ve had as many as 75 kits born in a single
day. So this number as you can imagine, goes up
and down quite a bit. We do have a pretty substantial breeding colony. We do have a transgenic breeding colony, a
Watanabe breeding colony, an immuno compromised bio-bubble breeding colony, and that’s just
our breeding colony. We also do quite a bit of non-breeding rabbit
work as well. Just to give you some background on what we
do with our research rabbits here. We do have Dutch-Belted’s as well as our New
Zealand Whites. I’m mainly focusing on our New Zealand Whites,
but everything I talk about today is also applicable to our Dutch-Belted’s as well. So what I do there is I’m the social housing
coordinator. I do this for all of our social species, but
today I will be focusing on our rabbits. So I facilitate all of our rabbit’s social
introductions and mitigate any behavioral issues that we’re seeing in any of our rabbits
across any of our buildings on campus, which if you’re familiar with our Ann Arbor campus
at all, you know that it is very widespread. It is across a very big area. So I feel like I spend most of my time on
buses, kind of going between buildings a lot of the time with a rabbit problem here, a
rabbit problem there. So, I mitigate a lot of these different behavioral
problems between rabbits. And then I also train staff on any rabbit
behavioral issues that come up. So, in 2017 we underwent a big rabbit training
across campus. So I trained the entire husbandry and veterinary
staff on all species typical rabbit behaviors. So my main goal is to really have our rabbit
behavioral program equal to our primate behavioral program. And I think this is really key in any facility
that has a large rabbit program, to really have your behavioral management program be
equal to that of your primate behavioral program. So, just an overview of how we’re gonna kind
of structure the talk today. First up, we’re gonna talk about… Well, you can’t really see it. Sorry, a light grey, but that’s okay. First up, we’re gonna talk about how their
wild counterparts live, to get an idea of how things are done in the wild for these
guys. So to do that we’re gonna talk about their
natural history, and then the conserved behaviors when we bring these guys into the laboratory. So, to do that first we’re gonna talk about
the natural history. To do that we first need to understand whose
natural history we’re talking about. So this is really important. The eastern cottontail, the Sylvilagus floridanus,
is what we typically see here in America. Especially up in Michigan where I’m from,
these are what we usually see in our backyard. These eastern cottontails. It’s really important to note that while these
guys look really similar to the European rabbit, these are not at all the same rabbit. They have a completely different genus. These are very different rabbit. They look vaguely similar, they’re not the
same rabbit. So this can be really confusing to a lot of
our investigators who will ask us, “Why are you trying to socially house our laboratory
rabbits when the rabbits that I see in my back yard are never together, they’re always
solitary, they’re not living in pairs. Why are you trying to socially house our rabbits?” So, it’s really important to explain to them
that we cannot compare these rabbits. They’re a completely different rabbit. And what’s really important is that the European
rabbit, the Oryctolagus cuniculus is the ancestor to our New Zealand white, which is our laboratory
rabbit. So they have some really important distinctions. The Sylvilagus is a solitary rabbit, they’re
a territorial rabbit, and they don’t burrow at all. While the Oryctolagus, which is of course
the ancestor to our laboratory rabbits, these guys are social species. This is really important, they are a social
species. They live in these really complex warrens
with multiple entrances and exits, they burrow. So, this is what you’re gonna see in a wild
European rabbit. You can see these complex social structures,
they have multiple males, multiple females, they dig these great underground burrows,
these warrens. You can see they have multiple entrances and
exits. It’s a much more complex structure, a complex
hierarchy than you’re ever gonna see in the rabbits that we have in our back yard. They’re a crepuscular species, which means
that they’re much more active at dawn and at dusk. Oh, I’m sorry. Can you guys hear me okay? Okay, sorry about that. So they are active at dawn and at dusk, and
they spend much of their time budget grazing and browsing. So while it’s really important to understand
the social behaviors of their wild counterparts, it’s really only important to understand the
behaviors if those social behaviors are conserved when we bring them into the laboratory. So it’s really important to know, are these
social behaviors actually conserved in our lab rabbits that we have in the research? So there’s been a few really great studies
done that have shown that domesticated rabbits actually do retain the social behavioral repertoire
of their wild ancestors. So this is really key. It shows us that these behaviors are actually
brought in to our laboratory rabbits. So this is really significant. I really like this quote. It says that, “Both wild and domestic adult
rabbits spend a considerable part of their time in pairs or in groups of three, and voluntarily
were in body contact between 65% and 80% of the time.” So these two studies have used their… They’ve used their social behavior and the
fact that they chose to spend their time in body contact with each other to show that
those wild behaviors were conserved when they brought them into a laboratory setting. So this is really significant. Okay, so the next question that we’re gonna
answer is, why are we actually trying to socially house these guys? So to do that, we’re gonna look at regulations
and the rabbit preference. So there’s been a really big push towards
regulatory requirements to socially house, which we all know, which is great. I think all of us in this room are a fan of
that, we support that, which is great. So the guide, AAALAC, and OLAW, all support
that socially animals should be socially housed when possible, which is great. And that single housing should be the exception,
not the rule, and must be adequately justified. Of course, with anything, there’s always gonna
be some social housing exceptions to the rule. I think the really important thing here and
the key word is that these things should be reviewed routinely by IACUC and the veterinary
staff. So routinely is the really important thing
here. We should not be making these statements that,
“Oh we have this justification”, and just leaving it forever. And saying we have a justification and leave
it alone and never look at it again. These things need to be routinely reviewed. I think that’s really, really key, and really
important. So some reasons that these things can be justified,
would be scientific justification, of course, veterinary concerns for the animal’s welfare,
and then the thing that comes up most often in rabbits, especially adult male rabbits,
is gonna be social incompatibility. Another really important thing, especially
in terms of rabbits, is that this should not be a blanket statement. Sometimes people will say, “Rabbits don’t
get along.” That shouldn’t be acceptable. That shouldn’t be a justification. You can’t just make a blanket statement like
that and say, “Oh, rabbits don’t along. So that’s my exception to the rule.” No, that’s not really acceptable. You need to provide a little bit more justification
than that. And we’re learning so much every day about
behavior and different methods of care, and different methods of maintenance. And new things are being published, new studies
are being done. So it’s really, really key that these justifications
are being reviewed routinely by your veterinary staff, and by your IACUC to make sure that
these justifications are still applicable. Okay, and then, moving on past the regulations,
what do the rabbits actually want? Luckily there’s been some really great studies
that have shown us what the rabbits actually want. So there was this one that was really interesting
that showed us what female rabbits prefer, and they set up this really interesting cage
that allowed the female to go into these different types of cages, and it showed that the female
rabbits actually preferred… She worked almost as hard for limited social
contact as she did for food. So that shows that she puts a huge value on
this limited social contact. As we know, food is a huge source of motivation
for animals. And she worked almost as hard to get this
very limited social contact as she did for food. So obviously, she really prefers to be near
another female rabbit. So this is a really significant study. Some other studies have also been done that
shown that females in a laboratory setting spend up to 79% of their time in close proximity. They spend up to 58% of their time in total
body contact with another female rabbit, and they prefer to be in the same cage as another
female. So these were all really significant ways
that the rabbits have shown us what they prefer. And I really think that we should listen as
much as we can to what the rabbits are showing us, and what they’re telling us. So a lot of times people will say, “Okay,
so that’s what the females want, but what about males?” ‘Cause a lot of people think males do not
get along, they don’t wanna be with each other. And in the wild, as we know, males will compete
aggressively for territory. However, when you think about males in the
wild, they don’t live in a system where it’s just one male, they live in a system where
there’s a dominant male, and then there are several subordinate males. So they’re used to being multiple males in
a system, and they are accustomed to that. So this was a really interesting study done
in 2010 where they set up traditional style caging, and then they had these modified cages
where the males could be in isolation, or they could have the social access quarter,
where they had these dividers that were clear, and they had these perforations so that they
could have some limited contact with another male. So they could, even though they were still
divided, they could touch each other through the panels, they could smell each other, they
could touch ears and noses. And they found that males that had these social
access panels spent more time in that social access corner. So they chose to spend more time near those
other males, they were more active, they had normalized their physiological rhythms. They actually found that they synced their
circadian rhythms, and they were less fearful of unfamiliar humans. They found this by doing latency to approach
tests. And they think that this was due to social
buffering effects of having that conspecific there with them. So this is also really significant, especially
in male rabbits. So not only do female rabbits prefer to have
another female there, but males have shown us that they even prefer to have another male
there. So the next thing we’re gonna look at is,
is socially housing actually good for rabbits? So we’re gonna look at the benefits of social
housing and then on the flip side of that, some of the detriments of social isolation. So there are so, so many benefits of social
housing, this is just a teeny tiny snapshot of some of what I think are some of the more
significant benefits of social housing. If you’re interested though, there’s tons
and tons of literature looking at the benefits of social housing. This is a very, very small list, but some
of the more significant ones is, it can provide a really great social buffering against stress,
which as we know in our laboratory animals, stress can be a really significant issue. So anything that provides social buffering
against that can be really significant. Social housing provides the perfect enrichment
because it’s dynamic, it’s interactive, it’s ever-changing, it’s something that we can’t
provide by giving them a toy. This is something that’s always changing. By giving them a partner it’s the perfect
enrichment. It can reduce anxiety, boredom and frustration
which we know is important to prevent stereotypies. It can encourage activity, which as we know
in our rabbits is really particularly important as they can develop things like gastric stasis
and osteoporosis when they’re in a cage setting. And it can normalize physiologic values like
we had talked about in the males, they had synced their circadian rhythms. And when you think about things from a researcher’s
perspective, think about how significant that can be if all your animals on study, have
normalized their physiologic values. That can be really beneficial to your research
outcomes. And then on the flip side of that, this is
once again, just a tiny snapshot of all of the very significant detriments of social
isolation in a social species. Thinking about this, not only from the cost
to the welfare of the animals, which is extremely significant, but think about it again from
the welfare… Or not the welfare, but from the perspective
of the researcher. These things can all have really, really significant
effects on their research outcomes which can lead to them perhaps having not as good a
research outcomes as they expected, and maybe they need to repeat some experiments, which
maybe, they’re gonna need to order more animals, and more animals are gonna need to be bred,
and so it’s just gonna be kind of a vicious cycle. So you can see how social isolation can really
lead to more problems than we even are anticipating. So it can interfere with brain and behavioral
development, it can increase oxidative stress, it can increase heart rate, higher white blood
cell counts, higher chances of disease progression, increased time spent in abnormal behaviors
or time inactive. And they can lead to signs of chronic stress,
which, as we know, are signs of poor welfare. So these are all really, really significant
things that we do not ever wanna see in any of our animal species. Some signs of chronic stress that we particularly
tend to see in our rabbits that are socially isolated are improper grooming. So this can be no grooming or excessive grooming
like over barbering or fur plucking. A lot of times in our older singly housed
males we’ll see inappropriate urine spraying, where they’ll just kinda cover themselves
with urine and they won’t clean it off and they get really gross. We’ll see pacing and circling, metal chewing,
scratching or digging. Sometimes they’ll scratch so much they’ll
rip their nails off, it’s terrible. We’ll see aggressive interactions with their
caretakers. As you know, rabbits are not a naturally aggressive
species, so if you see them interacting aggressively with a caretaker, obviously, something’s very
wrong. Okay, so the next thing we’ll look at. That kind of gave us a background of why we’re
doing this. So how do we actually create these new pairs? We know now that we want these guys to be
socially housed, this is the best situation for them, how do we do this? At UofM, we have the luxury of having a breeding
colony that creates a lot of our new pairs for us, we do however, order in a lot of new
arrivals. Excuse me. So how do we create new pairs from those? And then we also do have a lot of attrition
females that we need to pair as well. So we had to come up with methods for pair
creation. Like I said, we do pair attrition females
and we do pair new arrivals from the vendor. So I’ll go over some methods for pair creation. I will say, it is much, much, much easier
to pair directly from the vendor. So I greatly recommend if you receive rabbits
from the vendor, pair them immediately from the vendor. Capitalizing on that stress binding from the
vendor makes it a million times easier. I don’t have the exact number, but our success
rate from doing that is in the high 90s. It’s gonna make it so much easier for you
if you pair them directly from the vendor. The stress bonding just really puts it over
the top. Just a couple of disclaimers before we get
started. We don’t pair any unrelated males at this
time. We do pair males, but they are all related. There are some ways to deal with that, which
I’ll talk about later. And any of our maintenance behaviors that
we’ll talk about later, relate to males as well, but when we talk about pairing, like
attritions, we only pair related males. And then all of our pairing at UofM takes
place in double-wide caging. We don’t do any group housing, or anything
like that. Only because, like I said, we have such a
large colony we just don’t have space for it. So everything I’m talking about is in caging. So I know a lot of people think that you actually
can’t pair in caging because of that limited space. So, you can. It is possible. We use Allentown caging, I know you can definitely
do it in other caging as well. That’s just what we happen to use. Okay, so prior to pairing, make sure you use
a clean neutral cage. We’ve tried scent swapping, we’ve tried swapping
cages. We didn’t have good success with it. We’ve had great success with neutral cages. So I recommend always using a neutral clean
cage. Make sure you provide two of everything. We never want to encourage any sort of resource
guarding. Even if they share, which usually they do
share, which is nice, don’t force them to share, just give them two of everything just
to be safe. So give them two hiding opportunities, two
piles of hay, two feeders, two waters, everything two. And we do that throughout their entire life,
even if they’re perfect pair, they get along great, still give them two of everything,
never make them share if they don’t want to. And then make sure you always give them two
low-value enrichment and a high value destructible when you’re first pairing and we’ll go over
the differences between those. We do urine marking. So before you pair, you’re gonna collect urine
from a male rabbit if you happen to have a dominant male you’re gonna wanna collect from
him. In the wild the dominant males will mark the
subordinates within their social group. So we are kinda capitalizing on that theory. You’ll know you have a dominant if, for example,
you had to separate a male pair for fighting, use the aggressor within that group. He’s gonna be your dominant. If you don’t know if you have a dominant,
you can use any male. If you don’t have any males try and work with
an institution near you, who may have a male or contact someone, a pet store or someone
nearby. There are some places online that sell urine
I haven’t worked with them so I cant… I don’t know how, accurate they are, or how
if they work, but I know other people who’ve used them, and have said they’re fine. We’re looking into the validity of freeze-thaw
if it works, if we can maybe freeze it and ship it. But I don’t know how that works, so far. But I think your best bet would be to just
try and contact an institution nearby, and see if you can get some male urine from them,
if you don’t have any. I know there are some places that actually
have ordered a male rabbit just to have at their institution to have urine and to kind
of keep the peace. If that’s something that you’re able to do,
that’s awesome, and I highly recommend that. It’s really easy to collect the urine just
flip the liner underneath the day before, so the plastic side is up the urine will pool
on top and just syringe it off. So when the rabbits come in from… Okay, so when they come in from the vendor
just make sure you mark their ears. I like to mark the very tips of their ears
in blue so you can see it from across the room wherever you are. ‘Cause like, even mentioned in the previous
talk, you don’t wanna stand right in front of them, and watch them when they’re doing
their pairing behavior. You wanna make sure you’re a little bit away. And so, when you mark the tips of their ears,
you can stand across the room and you can still see who’s who. And then you’re gonna weigh each rabbit, and
do a nail trim. And then you’re gonna urine mark each one. So you wanna use a generous amount of urine
and just wipe it right in between their ears, eyes, like that, just put a good amount on
and then just put them right in the neutral cage together. And then you’re gonna monitor them for at
least 60 minutes. So in this video here you’re gonna see circling. So this is a really important behavior. You’re probably gonna see this in that first
hour. What you’ll note here is that both the rabbits
were circling each other. So no one was trying to flee away, no one
was submitting, they were both circling each other. So this is definitely a more aggressive behavior. So all we had to do is we came in with a water
spray bottle, we gave them each a little squirt and they separated and went to their own side. This is typically what’s gonna happen when
you give them that little squirt of water. We never use the water as a punishment, it’s
just a little distraction and they don’t like being wet, that feeling, so they usually will
go to their own side, and groom off the water. 99% of the time that’s all it takes to distract
them, is just that little squirt of water. And this video had been cut off but we actually… We let them circle like that for about 15
to 30 seconds before we intervene. We don’t do it right away when they start
to circle. But you can see as soon as we sprayed them,
they stopped. So in that first 60 minutes if you see that
continuous chasing circling behavior, if you see biting or clear fight behaviors like that
jousting or that lunging behavior… You’ll see the rabbits where they kind of
both go at each other like that. If you see that, that’s when you’re going
to intervene with that spray bottle. And at that time, you can mark additional
locations with that urine too, like their back, face, or rear, you can put a little
extra on them. Are you marking both animals? Yes, you mark both. You only mark one with the color so you know
who’s who. But you mark both with the urine. Yes. These are both female, correct? These are both females, correct. Yes. During this first hour, you’re gonna be recording
every behavior that you see on this ethogram that we created. Since the majority of these aggressive interactions
are seen during the first hour, we wanna record everything during this first hour. You’ll notice that this ethogram goes out
to two hours. That’s because everything is animal dependent,
so the minimum is an hour, but if after that first hour you don’t feel comfortable, you’re
welcome to stay. We base everything based on that pair. As you know, every animal is different, every
pair is different, so if you wanna stay longer, you stay longer. If you feel awesome after an hour and they’re
great, you can leave. But the minimum is an hour. So some of the behaviors that you’re probably
gonna see during that first hour, the most common ones, other than normal rabbit maintenance
behaviors, are gonna be mounting, chasing, nipping, fur plucks. It’s really, really, really important though
that you don’t intervene too quickly in that first hour. So this process of these highly ritualized,
dominant submission displays. These are essential to their hierarchy establishment. They have to go through these behaviors, especially
when they’re first meeting for that first time, they’re first figuring out who’s dominant
and submissive. And if you go in and spray ’em every time
they mount, or spray ’em every time they circle, they’re never gonna figure out who’s dominant
and who’s submissive. They’re never gonna figure out who’s in charge,
and they’re not gonna be able to establish that relationship. So it’s really key that you don’t intervene
unless you have to. We try to not intervene unless we’re really,
really worried that someone’s gonna get injured. You’re there as a last resort. You really wanna let ’em work it out on their
own. And it’s scary the first couple of times until
you’re more comfortable with what their working it out looks like. Cause it looks pretty volatile and aggressive
at first, until you’re more comfortable with what it looks like. So there’s lots of successful and unsuccessful
indicators during that social introduction. So some successful indicators are gonna be
clear dominance and submissive behaviors. These are what you want to see. Affiliated behaviors obviously are great to
see, like grooming, eating, drinking, resting side by side. Some unsuccessful indicators are gonna be
both rabbits engaging in dominance behaviors. This is not usually a good sign. Resource guarding and wounding, obviously
not a great sign. But once again, we don’t… This isn’t necessarily a bad sign. If wounding is observed at any time, you want
to make sure and train your technicians to contact the veterinary staff right away, but
we’d only separate if the wounds are to the genitals, to the eyes, or they’re actively
bleeding. That’s the only reason we’re gonna separate
the pair. If there’s a superficial wound, if there’s
a fur pull, if there’s little bites to the ears, anything like that, we do not separate
the pair for that. That doesn’t warrant separation. Only genitals, eyes, or an actively bleeding
deep lesion, something that might need a suture. That’s the only reason we separate. Okay, so after an hour if they’re resting,
eating peacefully, they’re not chasing anymore, then you can leave the room. They’re probably okay. We’re gonna do two additional 10 minute checks
throughout the work day. And then if they’re stable, you leave them
overnight. And it’s really, really scary that first night. Not gonna lie, everybody’s super nervous that
first night. It definitely is, and we always have one person
that is like, “Oh I’m just gonna work late tonight.” And they always stay and check on them. It’s totally normal. And then we always have some person who comes
in really early the next day, and that’s fine. But I will say we’ve never come in the next
day to a major wounding. Never. Knock on wood, hopefully we never will, but
we’ve never had that happen. And then the next morning, that’s the only
time when you’re gonna physically take the rabbits out and do a physical exam on them,
just to be extra safe that nothing happened overnight. You have to physically feel underneath the
fur. We all know with rabbits that fur can hide
so many of those little tiny lesions. So you wanna physically feel underneath the
fur, make sure you didn’t miss any lesions. And then you have to physically check the
genitals, ’cause it’s impossible to see any wounding there without actually checking. And if they’re fine, then they’re great. We consider them pretty stable. That’s the only time you have to physically
check them though. And then, of course, if you did find any wounding
then, then you’d contact the veterinary staff. So for the next two days, you just do a 10
minute check on ’em in addition to their regular husbandry check, and then if everything’s
good they’re considered stable and that’s it. I know it seems like we just breezed through
that. We’ll go through the behaviors that you’re
monitoring for, but it’s really a lot more simple than it seems. What extent of the wounding would you permit
them to stay reappointed versus separating them from? The only things we separate for, are if it’s
an eye wound to the eye ball. If it’s a little scratch around the eye, that’s
fine. And then same with the genitals. If there’s a little scratch around the genitals,
that’s fine. If there’s actual genital wounding, then we’d
call it. And then same with a lesion. If it’s a deep… If they’re gonna need sutures, if they’re
gonna… Analgesics, something like that, then we call
it, but that’s it. Any sort of superficial lesions. A lot of times what we find too with these
guys is they get more of their injuries from the initial introduction where they’re chasing
each other around the cage and they’re banging into things in the cage, and they tend to… They’ll hit their nose on things. They get a lot of wounds from that more than
actual bite wounds. And you know how their skin is so papery? They’ll get so many fur pulls and it tears
their skin, they get so many wounds from that from social introduction, as opposed to actual
aggression wounds. So that’s why we don’t want people to separate
for minor wounding when it maybe didn’t have anything to do with actual aggressive behaviors. Yeah? Did you ever try trying a larger space and
then moving them to their house? We did, and it wasn’t very successful. I think getting them used to a bigger space,
and then putting them in a smaller space… Yeah, I’d… Just for our situation, it didn’t work. And once you separate them you don’t re-pair
them? Males, we do not. Females we do, depending on the situation. If it was a female where, depending on why
they had to be separated. If they were two dominants, we obviously wouldn’t
re-pair. We would re-pair with a submissive. Males, we don’t ever re-pair, unfortunately. Yes. Do you have a problem where you see a breakdown
in pairs at any point? Or any probability once there is some Sometimes, yeah. We have a maintenance plan that we use to
work through why we were having the break down, and usually we can identify why we had
the breakdown, and then usually we can try to work it through. Yes. Definitely. Yeah? How about differences in size of animals or
ages? What about it? Do you commonly, if they’re very different,
pair them? Or do you tend not to? Or just run everything through the same scheme? We run them through the same scheme. We tried for a while… We were trying to go off the primate scheme
of maybe a bigger one would do better with a smaller one, and we found that it wasn’t
quite the same. Yeah. So we’re trying… We’ve done some preliminary work with temperament
testing and that’s been a little bit more successful than just doing the size thing. But yeah, it seems to be almost like a crapshoot
really, with who is gonna be… Cause we’ve had some where the little guy
was dominant, and we’ve had some where the older big guy was dominant. So it’s… Who knows? I’m gonna actually… If you’re gonna ask a question, raise your
hand so I can hand the microphone and that way everyone can hear you. If that’s all right. You were saying that you re-pair both males
and females after one of the pair is lost to attrition? Not males, just females. Just the females? Yes. And is there a certain age after which you
wouldn’t re-pair? No. Females we’ll re-pair at any age. Okay, thanks. Yup. Sorry, did you have a question? Do you have any concerns, like a specific
time period where if one rabbit is removed for a procedure or something and comes back
that you have to be careful with bringing the rabbit back? 0Yeah. We don’t have a specific… I know some people have one-hour, two-hour. We don’t have a specific time range. We’re more cautious with males for sure. What we do with males is we try and encourage
the investigator to… If you’re taking a male, take both males. And even if you just have to leave them in
the room while you’re doing the procedure, just leave them in the room. And then when you put the other male back,
just keep them in the cage together and watch them until the other male is recovered, until
he stays away. And we’ve had a really good success rate with
that actually. And then with females, we try and encourage
the same thing, but they tend to be a little easier, so they’ve done better with it. Yeah, that’s worked for us so far, just encouraging
them to take them both has been pretty successful. But yeah, definitely with the males, if they
don’t take them both, if they take the males for more than a few hours, we usually call
it. Definitely if it’s more than overnight, that’s… We have to call it. Cause the only time we’ve actually had a situation
where we lost a male due to fighting, is they were separated over night and someone put
them back together. We average 400 rabbits a year, tons and tons
of pairs, and we’ve only lost one due to fighting. Which you never want to lose any, but I think
those numbers are pretty good. We’ve only lost one. And it was that situation where someone… They had been separated overnight, someone
put them back together and it was that. So, you hate to lose any, but that was the
situation. Anything else? Okay, I’ll keep going. Okay, so we’ll get into the ethogram behaviors
now. So, understanding behavior, I think, is by
far the most important part of this entire talk, this entire everything with rabbits. For the longest time… Oh everything’s so white up there, sorry you
can’t really see it. [chuckle] For the longest time, I think we
didn’t really understand rabbit behaviors and we’re still trying to figure it out. There was almost no literature for understanding
laboratory rabbit behaviour for the longest time, and even now, there’s very little. And for the longest time, I think we treated
them more like large mice, and now that we finally are starting to understand how complex
they are, how complicated their social systems are, and their hierarchies… We finally are starting to understand that
they are not at all large mice, they’re way more similar behaviorally to small primates. And we need to have behavioral monitoring
systems for them that are much more similar to our primate monitoring systems. And I always encourage institutions to… If you have somebody who is really great with
your primates and who really understands your primates, bring those people into your rabbit
teams. Have those people train some of our rabbit
people, because they are gonna understand your rabbit behavior a lot better than you
think. Because a lot of our rabbits are really, really
exhibiting behaviors that are really similar to the primates. If you are trying to figure out your rabbit
behavior, read some primate literature, ’cause it is remarkably similar. Obviously, they’re a different species. Obviously I know there’s gonna be a lot of
differences, but there is a remarkable amount of similarities. So it’s really helpful when we’re trying to
figure all this stuff out, because there’s not a lot of literature out there. Going to the primate literature has been really
helpful to try and figure this stuff out. So this is a good… A really good… It gives us a good starting point to jump
off from, is going to the primate literature. And so, I really encourage you when you go
back to your facilities, and go back to your rabbit programs to think about that as you
try and build your rabbit behavioral programs. So to do this in our program, because we didn’t
know how rabbit behavioral… Behaviors worked, really. So we recorded rabbits for hours and hours
and hours to see what they were doing together, rabbit pairs, and then we just watched these
videos for hours and hours and hours to see what are they doing together. And then based on these videos we made this
ethogram. And so we were able to determine what behaviors
were more positive, more neutral, more negative, and then what are more communication behaviors. And so doing that, that’s how we created this
ethogram. The positive behaviors are reflected through
these dominance, normal, or submission behaviors. So dominance behaviors are gonna be this chase
and submit, or chase and flee behaviors. So you can see this behavior is really different
from that previous behavior we saw where you had to spray. This is gonna be a chase/flee behavior. This is not where both rabbits are chasing. One is chasing, one is fleeing. You have a very clear dominant and a very
clear submissive in this behavior. This behavior you are gonna see all the time. This is a very normal behavior. This is something that you might see every
single day. In the wild the dominant is gonna require
a submission displays as often as every single day from their subordinates. So you might see something like this every
single day, and this is totally okay. This is a normal behavior. And this isn’t something that you need to
separate for. This isn’t something that indicates aggression
or pair break down. This is normal, so this is okay. Mounting and mounted behavior. This is also very normal. As long as you have a dominant and submissive
and the submissive is accepting being mounted, this is normal. Aloe grooming, this is once again very normal. We tend to see dominant grooming submissive,
however we see it flip-flop quite a bit and submissive grooming dominant. And that’s okay and doesn’t indicate pair
break down when they flip-flop and that’s totally fine. Thumping is a really interesting behavior,
because they do it for a lot of different reasons. In this one, I don’t think we have any sound
but I was in the room recording this one, and it was incredibly loud. This dominant, you can see she’s standing
up and she was just thumping repeatedly very, very loudly at the subordinate. And you can see she’s just staring down at
her, she’s not breaking eye contact. She’s thumping repeatedly. And you can see the subordinate is just maintaining
a low body posture, she’s keeping her chin down. You can clearly see who’s dominant and who’s
subordinate. So even though it looks like a very intimidating,
almost aggressive behavior, it’s a very clear submissive display. It’s a clear dominant and a clear submissive. So this is a really good behavior actually. Are they pair housed with the divider or… They’re pair housed with no divider. Yeah, so these guys are together. Sorry, all of these guys are together. Sorry, if that’s not clear from the pictures,
they’re all paired together. So yeah. Thumping, like I said, is really interesting
behavior because they can use it for multiple communication reasons. They’ll use it to assert dominance toward
a subordinate, like in that video we just saw. The submissive will use it sometimes when
they’re fleeing away, so it can be a subordinate behavior. They can use it to alert the rest of the colony
to a potential predator. They can use it as excitement. Sometimes you’ll notice if you go in the room
and open the food bin, they might all start thumping. They can use it as agitation, like if there’s
a loud noise one might thump and then the rest of the room of the room will thump. So it’s something they use for a lot of different
things. I find it really interesting. Just make sure that when you’re identifying
it that you’re correctly identifying the motivation behind the thumping behavior since they do
use it for so many different things. And on the ethogram we do have it listed multiple
times. And people always point it out like it’s a
typo, it’s not a typo. We do have it on there because they do it
for multiple reasons. So here’s just another clear dominant/submissive
behavior. You can see the submissive was eating at the
feeder, the dominant comes over. There’s no aggression. There’s no real resource-guarding. She’s not pushing him out of the way. He just wants to eat that feeder. The submissive moves away and then the dominant
can eat at that feeder. So it’s a clear dominant and submissive but
it’s not aggressive, it’s not resource guarding. It’s not hoarding. This is a positive behavior. Also if they share resources, this is good. This is what we typically see, is they will
eat all of their food out of one feeder and then move over and eat all their food on the
other feeder. This is great. We also treat self-grooming as a positive
behavior. Because if you think about it, if she felt
threatened or unsafe in her social group she wouldn’t take the time to groom herself. She certainly wouldn’t put herself in this
vulnerable position where she’s kind of up on her haunches with her stomach exposed if
she felt like she was gonna be attacked by her social partner. But she’s taking the time to groom herself,
her partner’s right next to her. She doesn’t feel threatened. She feels safe in her situation. So we treat this as a positive. Sharing space is a very positive thing. These are two adult males. These guys were about a year-and-a-half when
I took this video. You can see they’re pretty huge. They’re both so fat that really one of them
can barely fit up on that shelf. And they have both sides of this cage, so
they do not need to share this perch. They can easily go to the other side of the
cage, use the other perch. They’re choosing to share this perch. They’re clearly getting some value out of
being next to each other. Whatever value that is, I don’t know. Maybe they like it, they take comfort in each
other. I don’t know. But they’re choosing to be next to each other
because they want to. They don’t have to be there. They don’t have to share that space. They’re choosing to. So we treat this as a very positive interaction. Especially when you see this between two adult
males, who a lot of people think don’t want to be together. A lot of people will say, “Oh rabbits might
mutually tolerate each other and that’s it.” I don’t see this as mutual tolerance because
they don’t have to be by each other, they’re choosing to. So a little interaction with enrichment. This goes back a lot to our previous talk
about play. I think she looks pretty happy. [chuckle] They… Obviously she feels pretty safe and secure
in her environment with her partner there. She’s choosing to play with her toys. She feels happy. She looks happy at least. She doesn’t feel like she’s gonna be attacked
by her partner. She’s being distracted from any sort of negative
behavior with her partner. And anybody who has rabbits knows that they
love those metal toys ’cause they’re super noisy. Even better is when we can see them dual interaction
with their enrichment. And like I said before, we always give them
two of everything, so they do not have to share. They have two of these. This was just a stuffed tube with hay or something
in it. They have two of these, they don’t have to
share, they’re choosing to engage with this together. And you can see they’re not fighting over
it, they’re not trying to get it from each other, they’re choosing to interact with it
together. So this is really great. This is why we like to give them interaction
or enrichment. It’s something that they can do together that
distracts them from any sort of negative behavior. It encourages and fosters happy, fun play
behavior. So this is a great thing. One thing that we found with the ethogram
that we were very surprised about was neutral behaviors. If you see neutral behaviors, these are… It’s kind of hard to see, but they are each
just on their own perch just doing their own thing. This can be nothing. It can mean just your rabbits don’t wanna
interact, they’re just doing their own thing. However, if you have two rabbits that are
consistently neutral, they are never interacting, they are always just doing their own thing,
you never see any positive or negative interactions. These are the guys that tend to fight and
tend to wound each other. So what we think is that these guys have not
worked out their dominance hierarchies, and when they do try and figure it out they are
older and bigger and they tend to hurt each other. So if you have a pair that is always consistently
neutral, keep a really close eye on them because they are the ones that are probably gonna
hurt each other. So just be really cautious. I’m not saying separate them. Just keep a close eye on them. Maybe give them a little extra enrichment,
a little extra monitoring. We were really surprised by this, but keep
a close eye on these guys. So next up, the negative behaviors. These are gonna be reflected through your
aggressive and your stressed behaviors. These are the ones that you don’t want to
see. It’s really important to remember though,
that just because your pair is displaying some of these negative indicators, it doesn’t
mean that your pair is gonna fail. You’re gonna increase your monitoring and
enrichment, but it doesn’t mean that just because you’ve seen a bite or a fight that
you need to separate that pair. It doesn’t mean that you have a bad pair or
you have an aggressive rabbit or that this is… This pair is doomed. Definitely don’t separate unless separation
is warranted based on one of those wounding categories that we talked about. So this is just another one of those circling
behaviors like we saw earlier. This one is a little bit more aggressive ’cause
you can see there’s some biting, there’s some nipping, and then they kinda turn around and
the other one’s doing the circling. Once again, you can see no one’s trying to
flee away. They’re both circling here and we just came
in with a spray from a water bottle. And that was all they needed. It was just that little bit of distraction
to kind of stop them in their tracks. And then if you watch as the video goes on,
they’re kind of like, “Whoa, what’d you just do?” And then one mounts and the other submits. So this is a really good dominance behavior. So, sometimes all you need to do is just be
that distracting force to stop them, and that’s great. These guys are more difficult. The pairs that have difficulty establishing
dominance, you wanna keep a close eye out for these pairs. So at first when you see this video this looks
like a nice pair. It seems like you have a good dominant and
submissive. But watch the girl on the bottom. It seems like you have a dominant who’s doing
some mounting and she’s also doing a little bit of aloe grooming there. Your subordinate is accepting being groomed
and mounted but then you see her, she turns around and start to nip a little, which is
weird for a subordinate. They shouldn’t really be doing that. And then she’s gonna start to nip again a
little bit. That’s a weird behavior for a subordinate
rabbit to do. And then she’s gonna do it a third time, and
then if you watch her she’s gonna actually turn around and chase the dominant. That is not proper subordinate behavior. She is not okay with being a submissive rabbit,
she does not want to be a submissive. These are two dominant rabbits. This pair is not going to work out. And they didn’t work out, we had to separate
them. So, something as simple as that and as nuanced
as that can be a really clear indicator that you have two dominant rabbits, and they’re
not gonna work out. So you really need to have staff that’s trained
in rabbit behavior. Yeah? What happens to them if They’re usually fine. Yeah. They just… There’s not a lot of mounting going on, a
lot of Yeah, yeah. There’s usually just not much going on. Sometimes they’ll have little tiny scuffles,
but there’s usually not much of anything. There’s not a dynamic energy though? Is it not an enriching or anything so there’s Potentially. It’s not as enriching. Yeah, I don’t… Yeah. I don’t know. Yeah. There’s not as much wounding. So honestly I’m not as concerned with it. [chuckle] Yeah. I’m more concerned when you have two dominants. How do you tell that pair then from the neutral
pair that you have? Two subordinates, you mean? Or two submissive? Yeah. They don’t wound. Yeah. Yes? So for that pair you marked them on your ethogram
and then you didn’t separate them. You thought you might have an issue and then
you only separate them once they wound the genitals or eyes. Did you, once you saw that clear sign, did
you separate them before wounding? No. Yeah, that’s a good question. No, we increased their monitoring and enrichment
and kept an eye on them and then once we saw wounding then we called it. Yeah. This is another pair where they had difficulty
establishing dominance similar to the last pair. So once again, at first it seems like you
have a really clear pair, but if you watch the submissive’s face, again you can see her
really struggling to get away, she doesn’t look happy. What’s really interesting with this one though,
is watch her when she gets away. She doesn’t run to the other side of the cage,
she turns around and gets on top. So she’s not scared, she’s not hurt, she wants
to be dominant. So she’s gonna turn around and get on top
and try to be dominant. So, clearly, these girls are two dominants. And these girls actually did… She got bit in the back when she was trying
to get away. So we did have to separate these two right
away. And then these are communication behaviors
that are totally normal behaviors, so we don’t wanna separate to for these. These are probably things you see all the
time, urine marking, barbering. They’re very normal. But we found that if they go unchecked they
can proceed aggression. So we do intervene for these with enrichment,
which we’ll talk about, but they’re not aggressive, they’re totally normal. So we don’t wanna treat them like aggression,
but they can proceed aggression. So these are just urine marking, which we’ll
see in males and females and barbering, which is normal, but if it proceeds to over barbering
it can lead to lesions. Okay, so then how do we maintain these rabbit
pairs? I think a lot of these questions have been
about how do we maintain these pairs. Okay, so we do a documentation monitoring
on a two-step intervention approach. So sexual maturity begins somewhere between
12 and 17 weeks-ish with rabbits. And we did an internal study in 2015 and found
that around half of negative interactions begin between 10 to 20 weeks. So, because we know this, what we do is we
keep track of the pairs ages. So we just put a flag behind their cage card
and then every week the technicians just update the week, so that we can quickly enter a room
and just kind of scan who’s in that kind of danger zone, who we need to kinda keep an
extra eye on, who’s in that 10 to 20 weeks. And this is really helpful to know just when
you go in a room, who might be having a little scuffle, who should I really take a extra
look at, who should I spend an extra few minutes with, etcetera. And we have these monitoring logs, these interaction
and enrichment logs. Every single pair has one of these logs. Even if they’re a perfect pair and they have
no problems, they all have their own logs. This is where we record everything in their
history, on these logs. Every pair no matter what is monitored and
documented for minimum of one day a week for five to 10 minutes. This is on top of their normal husbandry cage
side daily checks. And this is where we record any history of
the pair, any interactions, any enrichment, all that kind of stuff. So the first step is when any negative or
communication behaviors are noted, like those ones that we talked about before, we increase
their enrichment to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and we document their observation
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And then if any of those behaviors get worse
or if any new behaviors are seen we increase our enrichment to daily and we document the
observation to daily. When I say daily, I mean daily. So that’s weekends, holidays, every single
day. And this isn’t like here’s a ball on Monday,
here’s a ball on Tuesday, this is we put in a new toy, we take out the old item, we have
different categories, the categories are rotated. It is a pretty intense enrichment process. It is on par with I would say most places
primates enrichment process. There is a rotation schedule, it is pretty
significant, I would say. And I think that is the key because novelty
in rabbits is super, super important. If we give them a toy and then give them another
toy, it essentially has no value. So it’s really key to keep them interested. We did a study in 2016 that showed that their
aggressive behaviors in pairs are severely lowered when they have enough enrichment,
so it’s really key. So if any wounding occurs, of course, we notify
veterinary staff immediately. But as we’ve said multiple times, I just wanna
make sure we reiterate this, we do not separate the pair unless the wounding is on the genitals,
the eyes, there’s a deep puncture or an actively bleeding lesion. These are our only criteria for separating
a pair. This has been really key to keeping our pairs
together and working through so many little issues. So, let’s talk a little bit about our enrichment
intervention. So we have a six-page rabbit enrichment database,
so it’s pretty thorough. We have four different categories of enrichment
and we have a full page approved foods list. All of our rabbits do receive hay daily, that
includes weekends, holidays. I do think it should be just standard as part
of their daily diet, not necessarily a form of enrichment. We do rotate between the groups to maintain
novelty. So our enrichment groups are low value, high
value. Our high value are destructibles as well as
food treats. And then we also have supplemental enrichment. And we do autoclave all of our cardboard items
prior to use just to prevent new spread of pathogens because most of our items we try
and recycle from within the facility just to cut down on costs. So, our low value enrichment are mostly gonna
be manipulanda type items. These are things that the rabbits enjoy, but
they enjoy for a short time. So these are gonna be things like toys, cardboard
in the cage door, wood blocks and wood chew sticks. These are things that are fun, but they’re
only fun for a little while, and then they’re kind of over it. So, cardboard are one of our techs favorite
things because they’re really fast for the techs to provide to them and it actually takes
the rabbits quite a while to destroy them. And our supervisors love them ’cause it’s
free. So we just take the liner boxes, and cut them
into strips, and autoclave them. And then they just roll them up and they stick
them in the cage doors, and it takes the rabbits a little while to pull them into the cage,
and then it takes them a while to dig them up and shred them. And they seem to really enjoy it. And we’ve been given these to them for at
least five years now and we’ve never had an issue with impactions from them ingesting
them. So we do get that question a lot. We’ve never had that problem. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that. Our high value enrichment items, the destructibles,
I’d say are probably everybody’s favorite. These are things like tubes, boxes, and bags
that are stuffed with whatever you want. Hay, Crink-l’Nest, treats, whatever you can
think of. Everybody loves these. If you have a really smart rabbit, you can
compound these, you can put a tube stuffed in a box, stuffed in a bag, be as creative
as you want. Think about what you would use with a primate
and give it to a rabbit. These guys are a lot smarter than we give
them credit for, and they’re more industrious than you would think. So be as creative as you can with their enrichment
and they will definitely appreciate it. This is just a video of them enjoying it. Everybody loves stuffed bag day because you
just… All you hear is them just ripping them to
shreds. We kind of call it a compassion fatigue exercise. If someone’s having a bad day, we’re like,
“Go give the rabbits stuffed bags.” Because it’s really rewarding to make something,
give it to them, and see them instantly enjoy it. It’s very gratifying. And with so many rabbits it’s always an option. [chuckle] You can always give them something
and see them just instantly destroy it, instantly have fun with it. So it’s definitely a staff favorite. Food treats, obviously everybody enjoys. Make sure, like we had talked about before. In the wild, they spend a large portion of
their day foraging. So if you just hand them a carrot, the value
in that is basically nothing. Make sure you provide this in a way that they
have to work for it, somehow. Just like you do with a primate, you can give
them a foraging box or something. Something that they have to work for it somehow. You can give it to them fresh, frozen, or
dried. We do a lot of frozen treats with our rabbits
just ’cause they seem to enjoy them. You can do various textures, smells. We do food treats as the sole enrichment item
only once per week just so that they don’t get too chubby, but we mix them in with a
lot of other things multiple times per week. So just be creative, like with everything
else. And then our last category is supplemental
enrichment. These are things that we don’t provide as
a sole enrichment item ’cause we don’t feel that they provide as much value, but we provide
these in addition to our other enrichment items. So these are things like low-volume instrumental
music, white noise machines. We actually started using that CD, that pet
melodies that’s designed specifically for rabbits. I don’t know if they enjoy it more than any
other classical CD, but our techs seem to enjoy it, and it’s supposed to be designed
specifically for rabbit enjoyment. So I guess maybe they like it. We use everything on a timer for eight hours
max. So if they don’t enjoy it, they’re not subjected
to it for more than eight hours a day at absolute maximum. We use grooming brushes only if the rabbit
appears to not be stressed by it. Some of our older guys in particular seem
to really enjoy it. So these are great things to use as supplemental
enrichment. And just to give a real quick example of some
enrichment results. Hopefully you can see it. This was a paired female who had gotten into
a scuffle with her conspecific, and you can see she has some lesions on her ears and on
her nose. So the only intervention that we did was to
increase her enrichment to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. After 11 days, you can see the lesions on
her ears have completely healed, and the lesion on her nose is mostly healed. And then after 14 days, her ears are totally
healed and her nose lesion is completely healed. And you can see that most of the fur has even
grown back in on her nose. And the only thing that we did was increase
her enrichment. So it really can be a really valuable tool. Just to give a really quick snapshot of how
this has helped our colony maintain. So between 2016 and 2017, we’ve maintained
a 172 pairs, 62% of those have been female, 38% male. I think those numbers would have been more
even, except our colony in general is just more females than males. Only 8% of those had to be separated for fighting,
and the average was 18 1/2 weeks old. So that’s right in that danger zone of 10
to 20 weeks, right where you would expect to see that happen. 20% of that 8% was male pairs. Our oldest male pair however, was 75 weeks
old, and our oldest female pair was 92 weeks old. Both of those pairs were separated only for
lab use. I have full confidence that they would have
gone on a lot longer ’cause they were having no behavioral issues whatsoever. Just the lab needed them for their study. So you can absolutely maintain males and females
well into adulthood, well past sexual maturity. Some future directions for our program, and
hopefully some other programs as well. I really think separate male and female rooms
are kind of the way to go. Since sexual competition is the strongest
form of motivational aggression. I know Abdi is doing something with this. If anybody has any information on that, I’d
love to talk to you afterwards. We don’t really have this luxury as a breeding
colony, unfortunately. I’m trying to kind of work with this, but
I really think this would really help a lot of colonies if you’re struggling with this. And like I mentioned, since they are crepuscular,
we are also hoping to get some infrared cameras and see what are they doing at dawn, and dusk,
and at night when we’re not watching them. I’m very curious to see what they’re doing
when we’re not there. And then we’ve done some proof of concept
studies and did temperament testing. They gave us some really interesting results
and so we’re looking to develop some new temperament tests to further help optimize our pairing
our attrition females. And then just some last kind of programmatic
thoughts, make sure you talk to your vendors. We did a rabbit paring workshop a couple months
ago, and we had a vendor from Covance out and he was very… I don’t know what the word is. Open to the thought of pair housing and ordering
paired animals, including paired males. I know that we are very lucky to have a breeding
colony to be able to obtain our males from and not everybody has that luxury. You can order paired males from your vendor. If your vendor is not willing to work with
you, talk to another vendor. Because we have to be united in the fact that
we need paired animals, and the vendors need to be willing to work with us to give us paired
animals. And most of them are willing to work with
us as they should be. I know Covance is very open to it. Now, we have to be reasonable with them and
give them plenty of lead time and be willing to work with them as well. But make sure that you talk to your vendors
about it, about getting paired animals shipped to you. And if they are just like, “Absolutely not,
we’re not willing to do that”, talk to a new vendor because they really should be willing
to work with you about it. Cause we all need to be on the same page about
this. It’s really, really vital. And the more of us that are on the same page,
the more… I don’t wanna say pressure, I don’t want that
to be like We’re coming after them. But the more pressure we can put on them to
really get them on the same page as we are so that we can all get this done. And then also try not to listen to scare tactics. Try to… If you have positive social housing rabbit
stories, tell everybody about them, ’cause everybody has a negative story about rabbits
social housing. And it scares people and people always want
to share their terrible stories. And people rarely wanna share their positive
stores. So if you have a positive story about rabbit
social housing, tell everybody. Try not to listen to all the negative ones
’cause there’s so many positive ones out there. Listen to those ones. I know I had just listened to a YouTube talk
that you gave, Karen, years ago. And you had talked about pairing males with
such great success. And we need to get that story out more. Just don’t listen all the scare tactics out
there, listen to all these great positive stories that are out there. Don’t be scared to do it at your institutions. I know I’ve talked to so many people that
are really nervous about doing it. It absolutely can be done, it’s being done. Just don’t be scared, don’t listen to all
the negative people out there about it. And then as you go back to your facilities,
just try and think about why we tolerate minor wounding in our other social species, but
not rabbits. I know we often get in pigs with some scratches
from socialization, and our primates will often be rough and tumble, and they’ll get
scratches and no one bats an eye, it’s totally normal. But when a rabbit does it, everybody’s up
in arms and we have to separate them and everybody gets all upset. So just think about that. Why are we treating our rabbits differently
than we’re treating our pigs and our primates? We really shouldn’t be. So just kinda keep that in mind because cosmetic
imperfections like urine staining and superficial lesions are really a small price to pay for
keeping properly socialized animals. I have to think these people that have been
very, very instrumental in this process. In particular Lisa Burlingame and Jenni Lafgrin. We’ve done every bit of this from the very
beginning together. And I couldn’t have done any of this without
them. If you are looking for better quality video
than most of the ones that I took on my iPhone here, we did publish an article in Jove last
year when we had an actual videographer come out. So the quality of video is much, much better. So if you’re interested in that, it is in
Jove. And I know lots of us end our presentations
with this, and I think this quote should be in every single presentation, it should be
in every single break room, animal room, animal facility that we all do, or work in, because
this could not sum up any better why we are all here, why we do the work that we do. “Our quality of work is their quality of life”. This is the most sacred privilege that we
have, I think, and I think this sums up why we are here. So that is it. Thank you very much, I’m sure I ran over. So I look forward to talking to you all later. [chuckle] [applause]

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