Abstract # 160:

Scheduled for Sunday, August 27, 2017 11:00 AM-11:15 AM: (National Ballroom Salon A) Oral Presentation


FLUCTUATING SOCIAL BEHAVIORS OF A CAPTIVE BREEDING BORNEAN ORANGUTAN BOTH BEFORE AND DURING PREGNANCY

M. Vergamini1,2, M. Bastian2 and A. L. Rector1
1Virginia Commonwealth Univeristy, 907 Floyd Ave, Richmond, Virginia 23284, USA, 2Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park
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     The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Orangutan Species Survival Plan® aims to maintain 100 Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) of underrepresented mitochondrial lineages. Because of the high required investment in breeding individuals of these lineages and what often manifests as a “mismatch” of compatible orangutan personalities, it is essential that zoos understand how best to manage sociality of potential mothers. To improve management and reproductive success of these animals, more observational research needs to be conducted from pre-gestation to through the infant’s first year of dependency. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s two adult Bornean orangutans successfully bred and gave birth to a male offspring in September 2016. The breeding female was observed over a two-year period, from pre-pregnancy to birth of the offspring, to explore how her behaviors changed or modified over time given the social networks she had with the other orangutans. Results indicate that during the pre-pregnancy phase, the breeding female socialized more with two other females over the males (p<0.05), but also socialized more with the male who did not sire her offspring (p<0.01). During the pregnancy period, the pregnant female socialized more with primate keepers than any of the orangutans (p<0.01). These data, especially those relating to fluctuating relationships between the breeding female and males, may help guide socialization options for future pregnant captive orangutans to improve reproductive success.