An investigation into keeper opinions of great ape diets and abnormal behaviour

Zoos are evidencing a shift in great ape diets to cultivated fruit-free to achieve a more wild-type nutritional composition (lower sugar, higher fibre). This study aimed to ascertain great ape keeper knowledge and opinions on the removal of cultivated fruit from great ape diets, to investigate feeding regimes currently in use and to understand the […]

Heart disease is common in humans and chimpanzees, but is caused by different pathological processes

Heart disease is common in both humans and chimpanzees, manifesting typically as sudden cardiac arrest or progressive heart failure. Surprisingly, although chimpanzees are our closest evolutionary relatives, the major cause of heart disease is different in the two species. Histopathology data of affected chimpanzee hearts from two primate centers, and analysis of literature indicate that […]

Noninvasive semen collection from an adult orangutan

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430120303.abs Preservation of the genetic diversity of the captive orangutan, especially the wild-caught founders, is critical in maintaining a long-term population in zoological parks. One solution to the problem of maintaining maximum genetic diversity would be to initiate a program of artificial insemination for genetically underrepresented individuals through the banking and interinstitutional use of […]

A comparison of bonobo and chimpanzee tool use: evidence for a female bias in the Pan lineage

Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, are the most sophisticated tool-users among all nonhuman primates. From an evolutionary perspective, it is therefore puzzling that the tool use behaviour of their closest living primate relative, the bonobo, Pan paniscus, has been described as particularly poor. However, only a small number of bonobo groups have been studied in the wild […]

How orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) innovate for water

We report an observational field study that aimed to identify innovative processes in rehabilitant orangutans’ (Pongo pygmaeus) water innovations on Kaja Island, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. We tested for the basic model of innovating (make small changes to old behavior), 4 contributors (apply old behavior to new ends, accidents, independent working out, social cross-fertilization), development, and […]

Proximate composition of milk from free-ranging mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei)

Abstract Published data on milk composition for nonhuman primates, especially great apes, are lacking. Milk composition data are important for understanding the physiology and evolution of mammalian milk production, as well as the nutritional requirements of infants. For many primate species these data have added relevance because of the need to hand raise infants orphaned […]

A survey of the attitudes of stakeholders in the zoo industry towards the husbandry requirements of captive Great Apes

The attitudes of experts towards the husbandry of captive Great Apes was sought in order to gain a greater understanding of the potential importance of different features of the captive environment that may be critical in maintaining a high standard of welfare. Following initial consultation with the convener of the Primate Taxon Advisory Group of […]

Repeated innovation in great apes

Innovation has been defined as a solution to a novel problem or a novel solution to an old problem. The second part of this definition requires the inhibition of previously learnt solution strategies before a novel solution can be found. Therefore, inventing novel solutions for an old problem is considered to be particularly difficult. We […]

Structured bimanual actions and hand transfers reveal population-level right-handedness in captive gorillas

There is a common prevailing perception that humans possess a species-unique population-level right-hand bias that has evolutionary links with language. New theories suggest that an early evolutionary division of cognitive function gave rise to a left-hemisphere bias for behaviours underpinned by structured sequences of actions. However, studies of great ape handedness have generated inconsistent results […]

Human–animal relationships in zoo-housed orangutans (P. abelii) and gorillas (G. g. gorilla): The effects of familiarity

I examined human–animal relationships (HARs) in zoo-housed orangutans (Pongo abelii) and gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) to see if they followed patterns similar to conspecific relationships in great apes and humans. Familiarity and social relationships guide humans’ and great apes’ behaviors with conspecifics. Inter-individual relationships, based on shared social history, and “generalized” relationships, based on a […]