Abstract # 59:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


A. J. McFarland
Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056, USA

Wild orangutans living in degraded forests face reduced opportunities to engage in species-typical behavior patterns, and therefore may be more behaviorally similar to their captive counterparts. Such comparisons elucidate orangutans’ adaptive strategies and overall survivability. Here, a male & female captive-born Pongo abelii at the Cincinnati Zoo are compared to Pongo pygmaeus in degraded forests. Twenty-six hours of data were collected at the Cincinnati Zoo in May-Aug 2012 using three-minute interval sampling. These data are compared to published wild data and a brief observational period at Danau Girang Field Centre, Malaysia during which time a sub-adult female was followed for 10 hours over 2 days. This sub-adult female engaged in published species-typical behavior patterns in a degraded forest. Zoo data collected for this study show orangutans spent 12% of their time engaged in social interactions, 11% foraging, and 63% resting on the ground. The remaining time was spent auto-grooming (10%), traveling (2%) and using/crafting tools (3%). They foraged and traveled less than their wild counterparts, while resting more. Though an increase in resting was observed, nest building was absent. Despite providing an enriched environment, captive orangutan behavior does not match orangutans living in degraded forests. Further research applications are explored highlighting a need for continual research to evaluate the effects of enrichment and enclosure diversity on long-term physical and mental health of captive orangutans.