Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Winter 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Primate Behavior

Committee Chair

Mary Lee Jensvold

Second Committee Member

Lori K. Sheeran

Third Committee Member

Jessica A. Mayhew

Abstract

Captive facilities housing chimpanzees are required to provide adequate care and provisions such as dietary, social, and environmental enrichment to promote the psychological well-being of the apes in their care. Chimpanzees are social creatures and changes in groups as well as relocation to a facility with new social partners, can impact each individual chimpanzee’s welfare. By tracking each chimpanzee’s activity budgets, managers can assess welfare and make improvements or adjustments if necessary. I looked at the activity budgets of two captive chimpanzees after the death of a group member and the two chimpanzees’ subsequent relocation to a novel, more socially complex environment. Data collection took place during three conditions of social grouping: when the two chimpanzees lived in a long-term group with a third member, when they lived as a pair, and after their move to a sanctuary with 11 other chimpanzees. Data coders recorded the behavioral context of both chimpanzees during each condition. The results supported the hypothesis that upon relocation to an environment with additional conspecifics, social behaviors such as grooming and play increased.

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