Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Primate Behavior

Committee Chair

Sofia K. Blue

Second Committee Member

Lori Sheeran

Third Committee Member

Jessica Mayhew


I observed the behavior of 17 chacma baboons (Papio ursinus) in order to understand the relationship between rearing history, dominance hierarchy, and social behavior. The Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education (C.A.R.E.) has utilized hand-rearing in the past and is currently using a surrogate-rearing method. Hand-rearing involves one or more primary caregivers attending to an infant for 6 – 12 months. Surrogate-rearing involves one individual being the primary surrogate for the first 3 months of the infant’s life prior to bonding her or him to an adult female baboon before integrating both back into the surrogate’s troop. Mother-reared individuals were also observed in this study. Mother-reared individuals are individuals who were born into the troop and raised by their mothers. I used a David’s Score to assess rank and generalized linear mixed models to assess the effects that rearing history, rank, sex, age, and presence of kin in the troop, have on each individual’s behaviors. I found no difference in rank between rearing history. Moreover, rearing history did not affect the rate at which individuals participated in species-typical behaviors. Individuals of different rearing histories developed appropriate behaviors that mirror a wild troop based on their position in the dominance hierarchy, sex, and presence of kin in the troop. While my results suggest that both methods are successful for a rehabilitation setting, if resources are available, surrogate-rearing should be used as it replaces the lost mother figure and reduces human dependency earlier in life.