High-Tech and Tactile: Cognitive Enrichment for Zoo-Housed Gorillas

The field of environmental enrichment for zoo animals, particularly great apes, has been revived by technological advancements such as touchscreen interfaces and motion sensors. However, direct animal-computer interaction (ACI) is impractical or undesirable for many zoos. We developed a modular cuboid puzzle maze for the troop of six Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) at […]

Impact of ecological and social factors on ranging in western gorillas

We examined the influence of ecological (diet, swamp use, and rainfall) and social (intergroup interaction rate) factors on ranging behavior in one group of western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) during a 16-month study. Relative to mountain gorillas, western gorillas live in habitats with reduced herb densities, more readily available fruit (from seasonal and rare fruit […]

An experimental, comparative investigation of tool use in chimpanzees and gorillas

Studies of ape tool use have been conducted in captivity since the early 1900s and in the wild since the 1960s. Chimpanzees are the most prolific tool users among the apes, and are known to use more tools than any other nonhuman animal. In contrast, reports of gorilla tool use are rare both in wild […]

The development of feeding behaviour in wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

Before being weaned, young primates must learn which plant species are suitable to eat, and how to process and combine them to meet their nutritional needs. This study provides a detailed investigation of the development of feeding behaviour in a wild population of western lowland gorillas observed in a bai habitat. The behaviour of 56 […]

Group size and structure in western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) at Mbeli Bai, Republic of Congo

This paper describes the size and structure of western lowland gorilla groups visiting Mbeli Bai, a swampy forest clearing in northern Congo. An observation platform at the edge of the clearing was used over a 3-yr period, with gorillas visible for 1,681 hr. Data are presented on 14 groups and seven solitary males. Mean group […]

Preliminary comparisons of male/male interactions within bachelor and breeding groups of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

The establishment of bachelor groups of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in captivity was considered to be a necessary husbandry step in response to growing concern within the European and North American co-operative breeding programmes that breeding situations are limited [Harcourt, A.H., 1988. Bachelor groups of gorillas in captivity: the situation in the wild. […]

Changes in Nearest-Neighbor Associations in a Captive Group of Western Lowland Gorillas After the Introduction of Five Hand-Reared Infants

The successful management of a captive gorilla population often necessitates the hand-rearing of infants and their subsequent re-integration into social groups of conspecifics. In the present study we quantified the changes in nearest-neighbor associations in a group consisting of a silverback male, three adult females, and two sub-adult females after the introduction of five hand-reared […]

Long-Term Proximity Relationships in a Captive Social Group of Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

To visualize long-term social relationships among 12 gorillas in a captive breeding group at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, San Diego, CA, the multidimensional scaling (MDS) procedure was applied to proximity (within 5 m) values collected in five different periods over 2.5 years. The resulting two-dimensional representations clearly show that in samples taken during […]

Social interactions between captive adult male and infant lowland gorillas: Implications regarding kin selection and zoo management

Abstract Interactions between unrelated and related silverback-infant dyads are compared in an attempt to assess the influence that kinship may have on male parental behavior. Observational data were collected on each member of two silverback-infant dyads, in two separate enclosures at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL. The silverback was the father of the […]

Response of captive lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) to different housing conditions: Testing the aggression–density and coping Mmodels

Several studies have suggested that primates react differently to spatial reduction. In this article, the authors tested some general hypotheses on primate response to spatial reduction by studying the Apenheul lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla; Apeldoorn, the Netherlands). The frequency of conflicts did not greatly change between the 2 housing settings, thus not supporting the […]