Anxiety-related behavior of orphan chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) at Gombe National Park, Tanzania
This study examined the anxiety levels and social interactions of two orphan and four mother-reared adolescent chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Kasekela community at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. We used focal sampling in the field at Gombe to observe these adolescent individuals. Their social interactions and anxious behavior, measured as rough scratching, were recorded. The two orphans differed from others of a similar age by exhibiting higher levels of anxiety and lower levels of play. These results suggest that a mother’s absence, even in naturalistic conditions in which other members of the community are available to the orphan, may have long-lasting impact on an adolescent’s anxiety and its ability to engage in complex social interactions, such as play.