Neal Webb, S. J., Hau, J., Schapiro, S. J. 2018. A comparison of activity patterns of captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) housed in primadomes™ or corrals. American Journal of Primatology 80(S1), 45-46 (40th Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists Scientific Program, Abstract #141).
Primadomes™ and corrals, two types of housing options available to captive chimpanzees, differ in several physical features, including closed (primadomes™) or open (corrals) tops, mesh (primadomes™) or concrete (corrals) walls, and available space per animal (142 ft2/individual in primadomes™; 516 ft2/individual in corrals). Our group has produced one preliminary study comparing differences in chimpanzee behavior across these two types of housing conditions; only social play differed significantly between chimpanzees housed in primadomes™ and corrals. Here, we observed the behavior of four chimpanzee groups: two groups housed in primadomes™ (n = 14) and two groups housed in corrals (n = 16). Focal animal observations were performed to examine social proximity, and affiliative, abnormal, locomotor, aggressive, sexual, species‐typical, and solitary behaviors. On average, chimpanzees in primadomes™ spent significantly less time resting [9.6% primadomes™, 18% corrals, t(22.8) = −3.3, p=.003], and more time climbing [1.2% primadomes™, 0.06% corrals, t(15.6) = 3.35, p=.004], foraging [1.5% primadomes™, 0.04% corrals, t(14.64) = 2.1, p=.055], and using enrichment [2.2% primadomes™, 0.6% corrals, t(16.97) = 2.81, p=.012] than did corral‐housed chimpanzees. There was also a trend toward more time spent alert, but inactive, in primadomes™ [41% primadomes™, 34% corrals, t(28) = 1.81, p=.08]. Time spent in all other behaviors, including aggressive, affiliative, and abnormal (behaviors indicative of well‐being) did not differ significantly between chimpanzees in primadomes™ and corrals. Overall, these activity patterns suggest that chimpanzees in both housing conditions experience comparable well‐being.