Clay, A. W., Crane, M., Merino, R. et al. 2018. Management of weight and body condition for captive adult and aging chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). American Journal of Primatology 80(S1), 33 (40th Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists Scientific Program, Abstract #66).
With the goal of finding a practical way to improve and/or maintain the body condition of overweight chimpanzees to promote health and welfare, several feeding protocols’ effects on chimpanzee body condition scores (BCS) were evaluated. BCS were assessed at the start and finish of each study phase, and individuals were categorized as Average (BCS 4–6) or Overweight/Obese (BCS>6). Phase One feeding protocol increased amounts of leafy greens provided but maintained groups on unlimited primate biscuits. A Wilcoxon Signed‐Ranks test found no significant change in BCS for Average (N = 10) or Overweight/Obese (N = 18) chimpanzees after one year on this protocol. Phase Two protocol transitioned four subjects to individually‐fed, restricted amounts of primate biscuits based on nutritional recommendations; three Overweight/Obese chimpanzees had improved BCS and one Average BCS subject had maintained by the end of six months. There was no significant change in BCS for the remaining chimpanzees in Average or Overweight/Obese categories still on the Phase One protocol (N = 23) for a total of 18 months. Phase Three protocol transitioned 11 chimpanzees to restricted amounts of group‐fed chow and after 2 months, Average subjects (N = 4) maintained their BCS while Overweight/Obese subjects (N = 7) had significant improvement (Z = −2.00, p=.45). Twelve chimpanzees still group‐fed unlimited chow had unchanged BCS during this timeframe. Behavioral data are currently being analyzed for chimpanzees on different feeding protocols to determine impacts on activity and welfare.