Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Primate Behavior

Committee Chair

Lori K. Sheeran

Second Committee Member

Julia Walz

Third Committee Member

John B. Mulcahy


I proposed a study that determines whether enrichment regimes used for geriatric African Old World monkeys living under human care are effectively eliciting affiliative and active behaviors. I wanted to determine if alternating enrichment types used by the zoo staff were eliciting different social behaviors and locomotion in non-human primates based on different factors including ages, species, and sexes. My data collection took place at the Association of Zoos and Aquarium (AZA) accredited, Oregon Zoo in Portland, Oregon. I conducted my research from 11 June to 5 August 2017. I collected data from eight individuals of varying ages from three species: Allen’s swamp monkey (Allenopithecus nigroviridis), De Brazza’s monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus), and mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx), who are all members of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. I took observations were taken from 0930-1800h, seven days a week, which accounts for all hours that the primates were on display to the general public. I took 10 minute focal animal samples, and recorded behavior occurrences and durations from an ethogram. I used the ethogram to record locomotion and social interactions that occurred in the presence of provided enrichment. My study showed that my study subjects performed different behaviors during the zoo staff’s use of different enrichment regimes. Some species were more active or inactive than others, age was significantly correlated with inactivity, and some enrichment types elicited those inactive behaviors more than other types. The three species of my study can be ranked by their inactiveness to activeness as follows: 1) Cercopithecus neglectus, 2) Mandrillus sphinx, and 3) Allenopithecus nigroviridis. Of the six enrichment types used during my study, feeding forage/strategy, feeding strategy/toy, novel food/toy, and sensory/toy enrichment types all equally correlated with more inactivity than did olfactory/paper enrichment. I discovered that the geriatric and non-geriatric De Brazza’s are less active than all ages of swamp monkeys and mandrills. As there is little research on the evaluation of enrichment preferences for these three species of Old World monkeys, there is a need for further research from the scientific community to enable us to optimize welfare for primates under human care.