Orangulas: effect of scheduled visual enrichment on behavioral and endocrine aspects of a captive orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Juan Olvido Perea Garcia, Alessandro Miani, Aage Kristian Olsen Alstrup, Jens Malmkvist, Cino Pertoldi, Trine Hammer Jensen, Rikke Kruse Nielsen, Dan Witzner Hansen, Lars A Bach
Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research
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Captivity may have adverse effects on captive great apes, who would spend much more of their time engaged in foraging and other activities in the wild. Enrichment interventions have the potential to alleviate the adverse effects of captivity by introducing novel stimuli. In orangutans, interactive digital enrichment has proven effective at engaging users out of their own free will, in exchange for nothing but the experience. In this article, we report the results of scheduled visual enrichment in the form of “orangulas” – one-hour long videos of footage consisting mainly on open spaces in different environments, with which our pongid participant could engage at free will. We measured the efficacy of our orangulas with both behavioral and endocrine measurements, concluding that scheduled visual enrichment has the potential to improve the welfare of captive orangutans by providing novel stimuli in the context of largely stable environments.


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