Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Primate Behavior

Committee Chair

Lori K. Sheeran

Second Committee Member

Jessica A. Mayhew

Third Committee Member

John B. Mulcahy


In this study, I investigated the potential effect of a visitor program on captive chimpanzees’ (Pan troglodytes) behaviors at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest (CSNW) in Cle Elum, Washington. I used focal animal sampling to score behaviors from an ethogram of affiliative, aggressive and abnormal chimpanzee behaviors, as well as foraging and vigilance. During each sample, I recorded the focal’s location within the enclosure and whether he or she was situated in locations that would be in view of visitors (present or not). I analyzed 720 minutes of data from each of the seven CSNW chimpanzees. I tested the hypothesis that the chimpanzee’s behaviors would be different on tour and non-tour days. I predicted that on tour days the chimpanzees would have shorter foraging durations and longer durations of vigilant, aggressive and abnormal behaviors. I predicted that tour days would show changes (increase or decrease) in durations of social behaviors such as affiliation and inter-chimpanzee proximity compared to non-tour days. I also hypothesized that location preference would differ on tour and non-tour days. I observed significant differences for durations of vigilant, affiliative, aggressive, and abnormal behaviors and inter-chimpanzee proximity (P values0.05). Generalizations cannot be made about the potential effects of the tours because each chimpanzee varied with respect to some behaviors on tour and non-tour days. My results will aid sanctuary staff in their decisions to halt, alter, or retain this visitor program. My data may also serve as a case study for other sanctuaries.