Orangulas: effect of scheduled visual enrichment on behavioral and endocrine aspects of a captive orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)

effect of scheduled visual enrichment on behavioral and endocrine aspects of a captive orangutan

  • Juan Olvido Perea Garcia Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University
  • Alessandro Miani Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Aage Kristian Olsen Alstrup Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Jens Malmkvist Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Cino Pertoldi Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Trine Hammer Jensen Aalborg Zoo, Denmark
  • Rikke Kruse Nielsen Aalborg Zoo, Denmark
  • Dan Witzner Hansen IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Lars A. Bach Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Denmark
Keywords: scheduled, visual enrichment, no rewards, orangutan, cortisol, ethogram

Abstract

Captivity may have adverse effects on captive great apes, who would spend much more of their time engaged in foraging and other activities in the wild. Enrichment interventions have the potential to alleviate the adverse effects of captivity by introducing novel stimuli. In orangutans, interactive digital enrichment has proven effective at engaging users out of their own free will, in exchange for nothing but the experience. In this article, we report the results of scheduled visual enrichment in the form of “orangulas” - one-hour long videos of footage consisting mainly on open spaces in different environments, with which our pongid participant could engage at free will. We measured the efficacy of our orangulas with both behavioral and endocrine measurements, concluding that scheduled visual enrichment has the potential to improve the welfare of captive orangutans by providing novel stimuli in the context of largely stable environments.

Published
2020-01-31
Section
Evidence Based Practice