Same Space, Different Species: The Influence of Exhibit Design on the Expression of Zoo-Housed Apes’ Species-Typical Retiring Behaviors

Wild chimpanzees frequently make arboreal nests, while wild lowland gorillas typically nest on the ground. We aimed to understand whether zoo-housed apes’ use of elevated spaces for retiring similarly differed between species and across exhibits. Using a pre-planned exhibit switch at Lincoln Park Zoo (Chicago, USA), we compared where (elevated or terrestrial) two groups of […]

Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Care Manual

Looking for Visitor’s Effect in Sanctuaries: Implications of Guided Visitor Groups on the Behavior of the Chimpanzees at Fundació Mona

The question of ‘if and how captive primates are affected by visitors’ has gained increasing attention over the last decades. Although the majority reported undesirable effects on behavior and wellbeing, many studies reported contradicting results. Most of these studies were conducted at zoos, typically with little or no control over visitors’ actions. Yet little is […]

Nesting, sleeping, and nighttime behaviors in wild and captive great apes

The past few decades have seen a burgeoning of scientific studies on great apes’ use of nests for sleeping in the wild, as well as their nesting behavior and sleep in captivity. We review recent advances in knowledge of these topics, with the aim of promoting information exchange between people working in the field and […]

Human-Animal Relationships: The Use of Species-Typical Food Calls and Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Names: Welfare-Oriented Tools to Manage Sanctuary Chimpanzees

In captivity, positive human-animal interactions are often part of daily management procedures, which can enhance the welfare of animals and help caregivers with routine husbandry tasks. For example, the provisioning of food (produce or enrichment) can be an effective tool to reward animals for positive behavior. Another option is to use species-typical behavior to request […]

Intranasal Oxytocin Failed to Affect Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Social Behavior

Oxytocin has been suggested as a treatment to promote positive social interactions in people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). However, it is difficult to test this effect outside of the laboratory in realistic social situations. One way to resolve this issue is to study behavioral changes in closely related species with complex social relationships, such […]

Does group size matter? Captive chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) behavior as a function of group size and composition

The National Institutes of Health and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums recommend that captive chimpanzees be housed in multi-male, multi-female, age-diverse groups of no less than seven individuals. These recommendations are rooted in the idea that captive chimpanzee groups should be modeled after free-ranging, wild, fission-fusion chimpanzee societies. However, captive chimpanzees do not face […]

Personality in the behaviour of great apes: temporal stability, cross-situational consistency and coherence in response

Using a multidisciplinary approach, the present study complements ethological behaviour measurements with basic theoretical concepts, methods and approaches of the personality psychological trait paradigm. Its adoptability and usefulness for animal studies are tested exemplarily on a sample of 20 zoo-housed great apes (five of each of the following species): bonobos, Pan paniscus; chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes […]

Behavioral management of chimpanzees in biomedical research facilities: The state of the science

The current status of the behavioral management of chimpanzees housed in US research facilities is examined, and recent advances are described. Behavioral management includes the application of environmental enrichment, animal training, and environmental design for improving animal welfare. Authors surveyed the six major chimpanzee holding facilities and found that the vast majority of chimpanzees are […]

Effect of Enclosure Size and Complexity on the Behaviors of Captive Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Reports describing the implementation of innovative facility designs are important to both the primate caregiving community and policymakers reviewing current U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations. This study documents the changes in behavior of 5 adult chimpanzees that coincided with transfer from the Psychology Building Facility to the large and complex chimpanzee enclosure within the Chimpanzee […]