Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Primate Behavior

Committee Chair

Lori Sheeran

Second Committee Member

John B. Mulcahy

Third Committee Member

Julia Walz


In this study, I explored the behaviors, social interactions, and effects different housing configurations on chimpanzees in a zoological environment during a period of construction. I collected noninvasive, observational data at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon on a small group of chimpanzees, three females and one male, between the ages of 45 and 50 that are split daily into two separate groups of two. I used the focal animal sampling method to record behaviors from an adapted ethogram. I hypothesized that the Oregon Zoo chimpanzees would behave differently depending on which chimpanzee they were housed with. I predicted that the chimpanzees would be housed with one chimpanzee more than the remaining two in the group based on the amount of observation time spent in each housing configuration. I recorded 5,664 total behavioral observations consisting of 26 different behaviors in three different housing configurations. My data showed that there was a large difference in the amount of time each chimpanzee spent in each configuration and that the chimpanzees each have a strong social bond with one other individual.