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Measuring the Behavioral Effects of Environmental Enrichment in Captive Chimpanzees

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Title:Measuring the Behavioral Effects of Environmental Enrichment in Captive Chimpanzees
Authors:Grunauer, Priscilla
Contributors:Walgaurnery, Justin (advisor)
Psychology (department)
Date Issued:2014
Publisher:University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract:In their natural habitat, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) live in a dynamic environment
where they must use a myriad of cognitive skills to solve survival-related problems.
Atypical environments that do not provide comparable stimulation can lead to primates
performing abnormal behaviors. In captivity, environmental enrichment is provided to
circumvent behavioral abnormalities and promote more species-typical behaviors.
Although enrichment use is now a standard practice in zoos, zoos often fail to present
complex problem-solving tasks to primates commensurate with those encountered in
nature. Therefore, an essential feature of an enrichment program should be to present
captive non-human primates with various intellectual challenges that engage their
cognitive abilities. Previous studies suggest that novel enrichment may promote more
positive behaviors and may also decrease abnormal behaviors, with certain types of
enrichment being more effective than others. This project aimed to examine the
behavioral effects of a novel enrichment activity, producing art on an iPad, compared to
creating art through a typical enrichment activity, painting, in a non-typical, high-stress
situation as seen in the eight group-living chimpanzees at the Honolulu Zoo. Although
both enrichment activities were effective in reducing abnormal behaviors both during the
enrichment period and post-enrichment exposure, the painting treatment was shown to be
overall more effective. These results may be used to further investigate the simulative
value of novel and familiar enrichment and how to maximize its effects both during
initial and post-exposure.
Pages/Duration:68 pages
Rights:All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Honors Projects for Psychology

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