• Aggression and Competition in Captive Western Lowland Gorillas and Their Wild Counterparts

      Dixon, Megan K.; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2015-12)
      Studies of behavior in wild and captive Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) populations have exposed patterns of aggressive and affiliative behavior within family groups. Studies such as those of Stokes (2004), Stoinski et al., (2009), Robbins et al., (2004), as well as others have shown the types of situations, dominance patterns, and social dynamics that lead to aggressive and affiliative behaviors between individuals. This study examined the gorillas of Habitat Three, particularly the adult females, housed in Zoo Atlanta to see the types of aggressive behaviors exhibited, the situations they occur in, and the patterns of this population, looking for similarities and differences to observations of wild gorilla populations. Descriptive analyses show noncontact aggression occurs more frequently than contact aggression within this population. Results of one-way analyses of variance (ANOVA) show there is no significant difference in the amount of aggression concerning the conditions of food presence and proximity to the silverback. More data is needed to retest these conditions within Zoo Atlanta’s population. The present paper also compares the behaviors, specifically aggressive and affiliative, of this family group to research regarding wild western lowland gorilla groups.