Exploring the relationship between personality and social interactions in zoo-housed elephants: Incorporation of keeper expertise

Individual animal personalities affect experiences of zoo environments, and thus potentially welfare. Incorporating keeper knowledge of animal personality in a reliable way has great value in optimising welfare in zoo-housed animals. Assessment of animal personality has been used to predict group compatibility and social relationships in a number of species including rhinoceros, gorilla and chimpanzees, […]

Social Interactions in Zoo-Housed Elephants: Factors Affecting Social Relationships

Elephants have complex social systems that are predominantly driven by ecological factors in situ. Within zoos, elephants are held in relatively static social groups and the factors observed driving social relationships in the wild are largely absent. Little research has investigated the effect of social group factors in zoos on elephant social interactions. The aim […]

The effect of pack separation on social relationships and behaviour in captive African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus)

African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are endangered carnivores with a population size that is currently estimated at 6.600 adults in the wild. The European Endangered Species Program (EEP) for African wild dogs aims to maintain a healthy zoo population that is sustainable on the long-term and thereby prevent extinction of the species. Safaripark Beekse Bergen […]

Male chimpanzees form enduring and equitable social bonds

Controversy exists regarding the nature of primate social relationships. While individual primates are frequently hypothesized to form enduring social bonds with conspecifics, recent studies suggest that relationships are labile, with animals interacting only over short periods to satisfy their immediate needs. Here I use data collected over 10 years on a community of chimpanzees, Pan […]

Feeding Competition and Agonistic Relationships Among Bwindi Gorilla beringei

Testing predictions of socioecological models, specifically that the types of feeding competition and social relationships female primates exhibit are strongly influenced by the distribution, density, and quality of food resources, requires studies of closely related populations of subjects living under different ecological conditions. I examined feeding competition and the resulting female social relationships in mountain […]

Within-group social relationships among females and adult males in wild western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

Within-group female relationships, and relationships between females and adult males have not been described for wild western lowland gorillas. New data are presented here from Mbeli Bai in the Nouabale´-Ndoki National Park, Republic of Congo. Nine groups were observed over a continuous 2-year period, and affiliative and agonistic interactions, as well as time spent by […]

Mother–offspring relationships in donkeys

The social relationship between female domestic donkeys (jennies) and their offspring was explored by observation of their spatial relationship. The donkeys were kept together for life and the ages of the offspring at the beginning of the observation period ranged from a few hours to 13 yr. There was a gradual change in the jenny–foal […]

Long-term dominance relationships in female mountain gorillas: strength, stability and determinants of rank

A common practice in studies of social animals is to rank individuals according to dominance status, which has been shown to influence access to limited resources and stability of social relationships, and may in turn correlate with reproductive success. According to the socioecological model for primates, most female dominance relationships are either nepotistic or virtually […]

Network Analysis of Social Changes in a Captive Chimpanzee Community Following the Successful Integration of Two Adult Groups

Chimpanzees are highly territorial and have the potential to be extremely aggressive toward unfamiliar individuals. In the wild, transfer between groups is almost exclusively completed by nulliparous females, yet in captivity there is often a need to introduce and integrate a range of individuals, including adult males. We describe the process of successfully integrating two […]

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 […]