University of Twente Student Theses


Develop interactive digital enrichment for captive Capuchin monkeys that fosters their species-natural foraging behaviour and maintains their interest

Guntuka, S. (2022) Develop interactive digital enrichment for captive Capuchin monkeys that fosters their species-natural foraging behaviour and maintains their interest.

[img] PDF
Abstract:Compared to animals in the wild, animals in captivity do not have the same conditions of learning that nurture species-specific skills which are needed for their wellbeing due to less complex, stimulating and highly predictable environments in the captive settings. In order to bridge this gap and to reduce the negative effects of captivity, modern zoos provide enrichments to the animals that stimulate them socially, mentally and physically. Intelligent species, such as capuchin monkeys, can become accustomed to enrichments quickly, and once they have figured out the enrichment, they don't like to return to interact. These neo-tropical species prefer to stay indoors during the subzero winter months, while the lack of rich enriching habitat indoors breeds boredom and frustration them. This project therefore, aims to develop non-food based interactive digital enrichments for captive capuchin monkeys that promotes their species-specific natural foraging behaviour in indoor conditions and maintains their interest to interact and have a dialogue with the enrichment. The project employed an iterative animal-centered co-design approach with the animal, animal welfare expert, caretakers and HCI design expert as stakeholders. The choices and preferences of the animals were considered using the caretakers as proxies. The project delved into the foraging behaviours of the capuchin monkeys, the factors that maintain interest in enrichments and other previous works of animal-centered methods that gave animals control over their environments through digital enrichment. Following ethical consideration to minimise harm for the animals, the final non-food based prototype that stimulated natural foraging behaviour of capuchin monkeys by producing lights and sounds of prey when interacted with was tested with white-faced capuchins at Apenheul Primate Park. Preliminary findings show that the animals were interested and displayed myriad foraging behaviours to interact with the device. Signs of frustration in animals over time when nothing came out of the device was also witnessed. It is plausible that digital interactive enrichments can be a potential form of engagement for the animals when coupled with small tangible rewards. However, due to the nature of the study, concrete conclusions cannot be drawn. This study is a significant step for a broader evaluation of digital enrichments for the capuchin monkeys, a small step towards understanding the capabilities and preferences of capuchin monkeys and a proof of concept for designing interactive digital enrichments in the future.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Programme:Interaction Technology MSc (60030)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page