, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 21–26

Anxiety-related behavior of orphan chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) at Gombe National Park, Tanzania

  • Maria Botero
  • Suzanne E. MacDonald
  • Rowland S. Miller
News and Perspectives

DOI: 10.1007/s10329-012-0327-1

Cite this article as:
Botero, M., MacDonald, S.E. & Miller, R.S. Primates (2013) 54: 21. doi:10.1007/s10329-012-0327-1


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.


Orphans Chimpanzees Anxiety Play 

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Botero
    • 1
    • 2
  • Suzanne E. MacDonald
    • 3
  • Rowland S. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and PhilosophySam Houston State UniversityHuntsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Milton and Ethel Harris Research InitiativeYork UniversityTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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