Study

The effect of feeding enrichment methods on the behavior of captive Western lowland gorillas

  • Published source details Ryan E.B., Proudfoot K.L. & Fraser D. (2012) The effect of feeding enrichment methods on the behavior of captive Western lowland gorillas. Zoo Biology, 31, 235-241

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Primates: Scatter food throughout enclosure

Action Link
Management of Captive Animals
  1. Primates: Scatter food throughout enclosure

    A before-and-after study in 2009 in the USA (Ryan et al. 2012) found that when food was scattered throughout enclosures, western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla foraged more and increased their levels of activity compared to when food was offered in one area only. Foraging increased from five minutes (out of 30) when food was offered in one area to 11 minutes when food was thrown into the enclosure (a ‘yard toss’), 15 minutes when food was scattered throughout the yard and 20 minutes when hay and forage filled feeders were suspended from a climbing structure. Inactivity was reduced from 23 minutes (out of 30) to 15 minutes in the yard toss, five minutes when food was scattered and four minutes when feeders were used. Behaviour of all six individuals housed in the same enclosure was observed every minute for 30 minutes before and after each treatment for five days.    (CJ)

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