Using preference-assessment tests with humans in conjunction with behavioral modification sessions has been a regular component of almost all operant conditioning programs with mentally challenged humans. This has been very effective in improving the efficiency of behavioral training in these settings and could be similarly effective in zoological and research environments. This study investigated the preferences of 9 captive orangutans for different food items. The study used a pairwise presentation to record each nonhuman animal's preferences for 5 different foods on 6 different occasions over the course of 6 months. Results of a Friedman's 2-way ANOVA indicated that the orangutans showed a clear overall preference for apple. However, there was significant variability among different orangutans in preference ranking for the 5 foods, as shown by a Kendall's tau. In addition, there was variability in preference rankings across time for each orangutan. Because the orangutans' preferences change over time and vary according to individual, regular assessments should identify items to be used as rewards in behavioral husbandry training or as part of feeding enrichment strategies.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, 954 Gatewood Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA.email@example.com|
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