The behavior of a zoo-housed infant orangutan after the death of its mother

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Jenny Whilde, Nicola Marples
Zoo Biology
A Wiley Company, Inc., Wiley Subscription Services
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Abstract The behavior of an infant female orangutan at Dublin Zoo before and after the death of her mother was recorded using scan sampling and compared. Social interactions and associations of the infant with the other individuals in the group were also compared before and after the death of her mother. Increases in climbing and object manipulation were observed, and a decrease in resting occurred. The infant orangutan significantly increased the amount of time she spent in close contact with another related adult female in the group after her mother’s death. This case study describes an example of a zoo-housed infant orangutan being successfully fostered by a related female without human intervention. It also provides a quantification of the behavior of an infant orangutan before and after being orphaned. Zoo Biol 30:205–211, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


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