Just like humans, happier orangutans are more likely to live longer, new research says.
These findings could help illustrate how happiness has evolved in primates and human beings, Dr. Alexander Weiss, the lead author of the study, told Metro.
“Certain traits among orangutans that are linked to happiness can be explained by genetic differences, which is also true for humans and even chimpanzees,” he said.
Weiss and his research team at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Arizona asked zookeepers who worked closely with captive orangutans to take part in the study. The carers answered questions about the animals, their personalities and attitude.
The questionnaire posed four main questions to the animal carers, including how much time each orangutan spent “happy, contented and enjoying itself.” The carers were also asked how happy they would be if they were the animal in question.
“The results of our study do suggest that a zookeeper’s impression of happiness is probably a good indicator of an individual orangutan’s health and welfare,” Weiss said.
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