Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Geography, Environment and Planning

Major Professor

Joni Downs

Committee Member

Lori Collins

Committee Member

Philip Van Beynen


animal behaviors, Bornean orangutans, density estimations, LiDAR, terrestrial laser scanning, zoo exhibits


Five captive Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) were observed in order to better understand their spatial selection, behavior, and interaction with their environment and each other. A newly introduced adult male's interactions with a female group containing two adults, one adolescent, and one juvenile, was documented. Visual observations were performed to document individual behaviors, along with any interactions with silvery langur monkeys, public crowd levels, temperature, and enrichment props. Methods included 15 observation periods, 0.5-3 hours in length each, during which behaviors were verbally and visually confirmed using a HD video camera. Spatial locations of each individual were recorded every three minutes during each observation period. The orangutan enclosure was measured and mapped using terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), and observed behaviors and spatial locations were georeferenced to the resulting 3D model depicting the exhibit. Results were summarized as time-activity budgets and were geo-visualized using 3D plots and density maps. This research demonstrated how the application of spatiotemporal and behavioral analysis coupled with TLS and three-dimensional modelling can be used to better study captive primates. These types of studies are important as zoos increasingly become home to great ape species.