Operant Conditioning of Apes to Facilitate Medical Procedures and Immobilizations


The prevalence of osteoarthritis in wild versus captive great ape skeletons

This research examined whether the prevalence and skeletal distribution of osteoarthritis (OA) differed between wild and captive great ape skeletons. A secondary, but important, aspect of this research focused on the development of improved aging techniques based on methods commonly used on human osteological samples. Tests were conducted pertaining to the effect that wild versus […]

Home-range use and intergroup encounters in western gorillas (Gorilla g. gorilla) at Lossi forest, North Congo

I present data on home-range use and types of intergroup encounters for one group (Apollo) of western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) from a new study site in the Republic of Congo. The total home-range size of the focal group, which I calculated by superimposing a 100 m 100 m grid over the mapped daily path […]

Color preferences in gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Color plays an important biological role in the lives of many animals, with some species exhibiting preferences for certain colors over others. This study explored the color preferences of two species of ape, which, like humans, possess trichromatic color vision. Six western lowland gorillas, and six chimpanzees, housed in Belfast Zoological Gardens, were exposed to […]

The Great Ape Aging Project: Caring for and Learning from Apes

The Great Ape Aging Project was initiated to promote improvements in the care and well-being of elderly apes and to advance fundamental knowledge regarding normal aging and age-related disorders. Increased understanding of ape biology and aging in apes can benefit individual apes, apes in general, as well as humans. The project involves behavioral, cognitive, locomotor, […]

Welfare of Apes in Captive Environments: Comments On, and By, a Specific Group of Apes

Accurately determining the proper captive environment for apes requires adequately assessing the psychological similarities between apes and humans. Scientists currently believe apes lack mental complexity (Millikan, 2006), raising questions concerning the evolution of human culture from ape-like societies (Tomasello, 1999) .A long-term cultural study with bonobos suggests less intellectual divergence from humans than currently postulated […]

Factors affecting wounding aggression in a colony of captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20263.abs Previous research has suggested that chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) display higher levels of aggression in captivity than in the wild. One of the challenges of captive management, therefore, is to balance the chimpanzees’ need for social interaction with managements’ desire to minimize wounding and aggression. Various captive studies have examined the effects of individual […]

Effect of different primate species on germination of Ficus (Urostigma) seeds

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20008.abs We examined the germination of Ficus seeds (subgenus Urostigma) after defecation by six primate species (New World monkeys, Old World monkeys, and apes). Seeds from figs (control) and primate feces were placed in a thermostatically controlled chamber for 30 days. Seeds defecated by Alouatta palliata, A. pigra, and Cercopithecus aethiops showed significantly higher […]

Interactions among environmental enrichment, viewing crowds, and zoo chimpanzees (Pantroglodytes)

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1998)17:33.3.CO;2-K The primary purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not a group of zoo chimpanzees responded to environmental enrichment differently given higher weekend crowds in contrast to lower weekday crowds. Findings showed that foraging, feeding, and object-using were more likely with new enrichment; conversely, grooming, playing, watch-idle, and aberrant behaviors were […]

Inferences About the Location of Food in the Great Apes (Pan paniscus, Pan troglodytes, Gorilla gorilla, and Pongo pygmaeus)

Bonobos (Pan paniscus; n 4), chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes; n 12), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla; n 8), and orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus; n 6) were presented with 2 cups (1 baited) and given visual or auditory information about their contents. Visual information consisted of letting subjects look inside the cups. Auditory information consisted of shaking the cup so […]