• Schools Education
  • Students Research
  • Zoo or Aquarium
  • BIAZA Membership
  • Corporate Membership
Oct 2, 2007

Auditory Enrichment for Zoo-based Gorillas


Auditory Enrichment for Zoo-based Gorillas from Belfast Zoological Gardens

The gorilla is one of the longest living species of primate to be kept in captivity, therefore finding ways of improving the welfare of this species whilst in human care is thus of upmost importance

Auditory stimulation has long been employed as a form of therapy for humans and animals housed in institutions. Its effect on the gorilla, however, is unknown.

This study explored the effect of auditory stimulation on the behaviour, welfare and public perception of 6 gorillas housed in Belfast Zoo. All animals were exposed to 3 conditions of auditory stimulation: a control (no auditory stimulation), an ecologically relevant condition (rainforest sounds) and an ecologically non-relevant condition (classical music).

The gorillas' behaviour, and public perceptions of the animals and their exhibit, were recorded in each condition. Results showed that the gorillas exhibited more behaviours suggestive of relaxation during the ecologically relevant, and, in particular, the non-relevant, conditions than the control. Visitors' perceptions were also influenced by their auditory environment. Gorillas were considered to look more natural and less aggressive, and the exhibit was deemed to be more suitable for the animals, during the ecologically relevant condition.

Overall, findings suggest that auditory stimulation is a valuable method of enrichment for zoo-housed gorillas. However, findings highlight a discrepancy between the type of auditory stimulation that is most appropriate for the welfare of gorillas (classical music) and that which is preferred by zoo visitors (rainforest sounds).


Developed by:  Belfast Zoological Gardens



Text size A A A

T +44 (0) 20 7449 6599
E admin@biaza.org.uk

Paignton Zoo's Great Big Rhino Project has made crucial donations of cash to wildlife conservation on two continents. The Project is to give £60,000 to support work in Africa and South East Asia to protect rhinos in the wild. More

Collaborative research by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Bristol Zoological Society and the Comorian NGO Dahari has revealed the Livingstone’s fruit bat is likely to be the most endangered fruit bat in the world. 

More

New data released by WWF and ZSL (Zoological Society of London) today reveals that overall global vertebrate populations are on course to decline by an average of 67 per cent from 1970 levels by the end of this decade, unless urgent action is taken to reduce humanity’s impact on species and ecosystems.

More

Bookmark and Share