Supplementary Material for: Pre-Sleep and Sleeping Platform Construction Behavior in Captive Orangutans (Pongo spp.): Implications for Ape Health and Welfare

2015-05-13T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Samson D.R. Shumaker R.
The nightly construction of a ‘nest' or sleeping platform is a behavior that has been observed in every wild great ape population studied, yet in captivity, few analyses have been performed on sleep related behavior. Here, we report on such behavior in three female and two male captive orangutans (Pongo spp.), in a natural light setting, at the Indianapolis Zoo. Behavioral samples were generated, using infrared cameras for a total of 47 nights (136.25 h), in summer (n = 25) and winter (n = 22) periods. To characterize sleep behaviors, we used all-occurrence sampling to generate platform construction episodes (n = 217). Orangutans used a total of 2.4 (SD = 1.2) techniques and 7.5 (SD = 6.3) actions to construct a sleeping platform; they spent 10.1 min (SD - 9.9 min) making the platform and showed a 77% preference for ground (vs. elevated) sleep sites. Comparisons between summer and winter platform construction showed winter start times (17:12 h) to be significantly earlier and longer in duration than summer start times (17:56 h). Orangutans should be provisioned with seasonally appropriate, high quality materials suitable for construction of sleeping platforms to increase sleep quality and improve animal health and welfare.