- € 2,49
Zoo-housed orangutans are fed diets that are quantitatively and qualitatively different from the diets of their wild counterparts and, therefore, from what orangutans have evolved to eat. This discrepancy in dietary composition could be leading to health issues such as cardiovascular disease and metabolic abnormalities, weight problems, and undesirable behaviors in captive orangutans. The current study explored zoo orangutan diets in relation to the undesirable behavior of regurgitation and reingestion (R/R), and also examined behavioral changes after a reduction of commercially formulated primate food (referred to as biscuits) in the orangutans’ diet at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. A survey of R/R in the North American zoo population found a prevalence of 36% with some sex and species differences. Increased access to high-fiber food reduced rates of R/R in a group of Bornean orangutans at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Additionally, these orangutans increased the amount of time spent in locomotion and occupying the highest level of their exhibit after they received less commercially formulated diet. The reduction of commercial diet also resulted in weight loss in some individuals. Implications for health and welfare are discussed.