Researchers observed three Western lowland gorillas – Koga, Sydney and Lilly – listening to various different sounds, including sounds of the rainforest (natural), Chopin (Classical), or Muse (rock).
All of them changed behaviours when listening to the rainforest sounds. Interestingly, Kiga was very drawn to the speakers while Muse was playing, while Sydney didn’t seem to like it nearly as much as Lily showed no interest as all… Clearly only a few gorillas are rock fans!
The study demonstrates the effect that audio enrichment can have on reducing stereotypic behaviours in captive animals.
“These results suggest that auditory enrichment, which is not commonly used in zoos in a systematic way, can be easily utilized by keepers to help decrease stereotypic behavior, but the nature of the stimulus, as well as the differential responses of individual animals, need to be considered” – Seriously Science.