Title

Captive chimpanzee preference for environmental enrichment: naturalistic vs. artificial

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

The cognitive abilities of chimpanzees are complex, requiring challenging environmental enrichment that promotes well-being, and species typical behaviors (Fouts, 1998; Lutz andNovak , 2005). We examined the use and preference of two types of enrichment for three adult chimpanzees living at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI). These include (1) artificial: magazines, drawing material, brushes, cardboard, toys etc., and (2) naturalistic: items typically found in a free-living environment such foliage and branches (Davey, 2006). We predicted that as cross-fostered chimpanzees they would demonstrate a preference for artificial enrichment. A chi-square test of independence revealed that the frequency of time intervals during which the chimpanzees touched the enrichment varied with condition in all three individuals. Overall the chimpanzees touched objects more in the naturalistic enrichment condition. Naturalistic enrichment often was edible which may account for the differences in conditions. The implications of these results will be discussed.

Poster Number

12

Faculty Mentor(s)

Mary Lee Jensvold

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology

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May 16th, 8:20 AM May 16th, 10:50 AM

Captive chimpanzee preference for environmental enrichment: naturalistic vs. artificial

SURC Ballroom C/D

The cognitive abilities of chimpanzees are complex, requiring challenging environmental enrichment that promotes well-being, and species typical behaviors (Fouts, 1998; Lutz andNovak , 2005). We examined the use and preference of two types of enrichment for three adult chimpanzees living at the Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI). These include (1) artificial: magazines, drawing material, brushes, cardboard, toys etc., and (2) naturalistic: items typically found in a free-living environment such foliage and branches (Davey, 2006). We predicted that as cross-fostered chimpanzees they would demonstrate a preference for artificial enrichment. A chi-square test of independence revealed that the frequency of time intervals during which the chimpanzees touched the enrichment varied with condition in all three individuals. Overall the chimpanzees touched objects more in the naturalistic enrichment condition. Naturalistic enrichment often was edible which may account for the differences in conditions. The implications of these results will be discussed.