Behavioral analysis of a captive male Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) when exposed to environmental changes

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Josefine F Larsen, Karl KD Andersen, Julia Cuprys, Thomas B Fosgaard, Johanne H Jacobsen, Dominika Krysztofiak, Silje M Lund, Birgitte Nielsen, Maja EB Pedersen, Matilde J Pedersen
Archives of Biological Sciences
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Understanding the species-specific behavioral needs of Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) has led zoological gardens to focus on creating more natural and stimulating facilities. Studies have documented enhanced welfare through various methods, including environmental enrichment like mixed-species habitats, which could improve animal welfare. This study aimed to evaluate the behavioral adaption following the transfer to a new facility and the possible effects of environmental enrichment on an orangutan in captivity at Aalborg Zoo in Denmark. A newly arrived male was observed for analyzing behavioral changes in the weeks after relocation and introducing two small-clawed Asian otters (Aonyx cinereus) to the facility. Changes in behavior were analyzed using recorded behavior and an ethogram before and after the introduction of the otters. The expression of behaviors associated with stress and individual plasticity was analyzed, and the results indicated a change in the behavioral phenotype in response to the introduction of the otters. The study shows that behaviors associated with stress decreased after the introduction of small-clawed otters, suggesting that it had a positive effect on the behavior of the orangutan.


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