Impacts of dietary modifications on the behaviour of captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla).
Keywords:gorilla, diet, behavior, coprophagy, captivity
Behavioural profiles of captive and wild Gorilla gorilla gorilla have been shown to differ greatly, with captive gorillas moving and foraging much less than their wild counterparts and often experiencing high levels of obesity and cardiovascular disease. Captive gorillas are typically fed an energy dense diet and housed in relatively small enclosures compared to wild gorillas that forage for large quantities of fibrous fruits and foliage over expansive home ranges. These differences could be one of the leading factors in behavioural and health problems observed among captive gorillas. This study examined behavioural profiles of captive gorillas fed experimental diets more nutritionally similar in both nutrient content and volume to those seen in the wild, particularly with the addition of woody browse and tamarind seed. We predicted that when gorillas ate the experimental diets, they would display behavioural patterns more similar to their wild counterparts. We found that feeding woody browses led to a reduction in coprophagy and regurgitation/reingestion (R/R) behaviours, but the addition of tamarind seed led to increased rates of coprophagy. These findings could be an important addition to management strategies in improving health and well-being among captive gorillas.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).