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07 27/07/2016

Islands: Spotlight on Science

Successful breeding is just one sign that an animal has settled into a new home but there are many more that we look for. Chester Zoo scientists started monitoring the animals long before they moved to their new habitats.

We study animal behaviour to understand what animals do and why they might do it. Through this research we can discover so much about how an animal is and whether it’s healthy. We can also learn about an animal’s needs and personality traits.

We’ve been monitoring the behaviour of the animals that moved to Islands since 2014; one of the species we’ve been collecting behavioural data on is the Sumatran orangutans.

Katherine Finch, Chester Zoo animal behaviour intern, has been collecting data for each individual Sumatran orangutan. Working closely with the primate team, she has found some really positive outcomes following their move to Islands – including a significant increase in positive social behaviour and maternal behaviour.

Below Katherine tells us more about the research and what she’s discovered as a result:

All of our staff work tirelessly to ensure that our animals feel happy, safe and secure in their homes, whether they’ve lived there for years or have just moved into a brand new habitat like Islands.

Learn more about why studying animal behaviour is vital and how it can help to protect many species in the wild that we’re at risk of losing to extinction.

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