As we face the Anthropocene extinction, many species are threatened or becoming so, and great ape species are no exception (all are Endangered or Critically Endangered). As humans work to combat this trend, research on every aspect of the lives of animals is vital. One area of research that has the potential to be particularly useful is the study of personality. Zoological institutions offer a unique opportunity for research on personality in non-human primates, with knowledgeable staff, consistency in environment, accessibility of a variety of species and the possibility to have large sample sizes to provide generalizability. Here, we offer a perspective on how zoos have contributed to the personality literature, how the personality literature can aid animal management and how much further such research can continue, with implications for both welfare and conservation.
- great apes