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The Effect of Enrichment Filling and Engagement Time on Regurgitation and Reingestion Behaviour in Three Zoo-Housed Orangutans

1
Environmental and Animal Sciences, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland 1025, New Zealand
2
Independent Researcher, Melbourne 3226, Australia
3
Auckland Zoo, Auckland 1022, New Zealand
4
School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Gatton 4343, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2021, 2(1), 10-20; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2010002
Received: 21 October 2020 / Revised: 28 November 2020 / Accepted: 3 December 2020 / Published: 14 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Science of Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare)
Regurgitation and reingestion (R/R) is a prevalent, abnormal behaviour observed in captive great apes. R/R may be related to animal welfare and while less R/R appears to occur when apes are provided with browse and continuous foraging opportunities, the aetiology of the behaviour (e.g., foraging time or taste characteristics such as sweetness) is not well understood. This study aimed to determine how environmental enrichment may affect R/R in three zoo-housed, adult orangutans. Over eight weeks, nine fillable enrichment items were provided twice to each orangutan–once with a sweet filling and once with a savoury filling. Enrichment engagement time and R/R behaviour were monitored for 1-h after the item was provided. Individual differences were found in R/R occurrence. One individual was more likely to perform R/R when given enrichment with a sweet filling (p < 0.05), and a second was more likely to R/R with savoury filled enrichment (p < 0.05). R/R behaviour from the third orangutan was unaffected by enrichment filling (p > 0.05), however he engaged longer with savoury filled enrichment, compared to sweet (p < 0.05). No relationship was found between engagement time and amount of R/R behaviour, for any of the orangutans (p > 0.05). While these results should not be generalized without a larger study, they do suggest that diet and enrichment qualities may play a role in the performance of R/R, and individual variation should not be overlooked when considering causation. View Full-Text
Keywords: regurgitation; welfare; enrichment; zoo; primate; behaviour regurgitation; welfare; enrichment; zoo; primate; behaviour
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nash, R.; Johnston, H.; Robbins, A.; Descovich, K. The Effect of Enrichment Filling and Engagement Time on Regurgitation and Reingestion Behaviour in Three Zoo-Housed Orangutans. J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2021, 2, 10-20. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2010002

AMA Style

Nash R, Johnston H, Robbins A, Descovich K. The Effect of Enrichment Filling and Engagement Time on Regurgitation and Reingestion Behaviour in Three Zoo-Housed Orangutans. Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens. 2021; 2(1):10-20. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2010002

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nash, Rebecca, Helen Johnston, Amy Robbins, and Kris Descovich. 2021. "The Effect of Enrichment Filling and Engagement Time on Regurgitation and Reingestion Behaviour in Three Zoo-Housed Orangutans" Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens 2, no. 1: 10-20. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2010002

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