Fultz, A., Yanagi, A., Breaux, S. et al. 2022. Aggressive, submissive, and affiliative behavior in sanctuary chimpanzees (Pan Troglodytes) during social integration. Animals 12(18), 2421.

Chimp Haven is a sanctuary for chimpanzees being retired from biomedical research and from facilities that can no longer care for them. Chimpanzees often live in smaller groups in captive settings; however, Chimp Haven integrates them into larger, more species-typical groups. Social integrations, the process of introducing unfamiliar chimpanzees to one another, are often complex in terms of logistics and can be stressful due to the territorial nature of the animals, reduced space in captivity, and the fact that these situations are engineered by humans. From 2005 to 2015, Chimp Haven conducted 225 social integrations including 282 chimpanzees (male: n = 135; female: n = 147). Each integration involved 2 to 26 chimpanzees (mean = 9) and their age ranged from < one year old to 59 years old (mean = 30). We collected data ad libitum during the first 60 min after doors were opened between unfamiliar chimpanzees. The chimpanzees’ affiliative, aggressive, and submissive behaviors were examined, comparing the subject’s sex, rearing history, location/enclosure type, and group size impacts on these behaviors. The subject’s sex, location, and group size were associated with the frequency of affiliative behaviors observed during social integration. All variables except for group size were associated with the frequency of aggressive behavior. The frequency of submissive behavior differed based on the subject’s sex, rearing history, and group size. We were unable to make comparisons between successful and unsuccessful integrations, as most of these integrations were successful.

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