Weir, R. 2022. The effects of various enrichment methods on the engagement nd inter-group behaviour of captive chacma baboons. Canopy 23(1), 4–6.

The goal of this study was to answer two research questions: (1) how important is it to rotate enrichment types to maintain high levels of engagement in individually-housed adult chacma baboons? and (2) which methods of enrichment prompt the highest impact on levels of inter-group aggression, submission, and dominant behaviours in a troop of chacma baboons? To answer the first question, two individually-housed baboons were observed engaging with the same enrichment item repeated over five consecutive days. The results show a large negative relationship between enrichment repetition and engagement time for both indviduals. In experiment 2, one troop of ten baboons were observed with the provision of four different enrichment conditions to determine the effect on inter-group aggression, submission, and dominance behaviors. Providing frozen fruit enrichment (high value) led to the greatest increase in aggressive/submissive/dominance beahviors. This study highlights the importance of providing captive animals with varied enrichment, and emphasises the potential issues that can arise when providing enrichment to a troop.

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