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Keywords:

  • husbandry;
  • abnormal behavior;
  • aggression;
  • psychological well-being

Abstract

An analysis of a feeding enrichment program for captive chimpanzees was completed to determine the effects of that program on the incidence of agonistic and abnormal behaviors by using 41 adult chimpanzees in six social groups. Four feeding enrichment procedures were implemented simultaneously in the experimental phase of this ABA design study. The procedures were planned to elicit time-consuming, noncompetitive feeding, theorizing a consequent reduction in agonism and detrimental abnormal behaviors typically occurring in captive chimpanzees. The 270 hours of data were collected over a 6-month period. A multivariate analysis of variance result supported the hypothesis, as the barrage of feeding enrichment techniques significantly reduced agonism and abnormal behaviors. This study's significance lies in its application of the scientific method to improving the husbandry of captive primates.