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The welfare of wild animals in travelling circuses

We were asked to provide the Welsh Government with an impartial literature review and an analysis of the scientific evidence available as to whether captive wild animals in travelling circuses and other animal shows achieve their optimal welfare requirements as set out under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and any other relevant legislation. ◆ The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes it a criminal offence for any person responsible for an animal to fail to provide for the animal’s welfare. Under

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Zoo Foraging Ecology: Preference and Welfare Assessment of Two Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) at the Brookfield Zoo

Applying principles of foraging ecology to zoo-housed animals can positively influence animal behavior, and assist with evaluating exhibit space and design. In this study, we implemented zoo foraging ecology by measuring giving-up densities (GUDs) in food patches to address several welfare-related questions with captive okapi (Okapia johnstoni). Our objectives were to: (1) determine whether food patches can reveal how the individual animals perceive their exhibit space (i.e., areas of preference and aversion; landscapes of comfort); and (2) determine whether implementation

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Using natural history information for zoo animal management: a case study with okapi (Okapia johnstoni)

Until recently, the impact that the presence of conspecifics may have on stereotypic behavior in naturally solitary species exhibited in zoological institutions has largely been ignored. This study examined the effect of adding a visual barrier between animal holding areas at the Brookfield Zoo on stereotypic head-rolling behaviour in an adult female okapi (Okapia johnstoni). Instantaneous sampling was used to document the proportion of time the female okapi spent head-rolling prior to and after visual barriers were constructed. Behavioural surveys were

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Why and how should we use environmental enrichment to tackle stereotypic behavior?

This paper summarises recent findings on the causation of stereotypic behaviours and other abnormal repetitive behaviours (ARBs) in captive animals: primarily motivational frustration and/or brain dysfunction, with possible contributory roles also being played by habit-formation and ‘coping’ effects. We then review the extent to which ARBs occur in zoos and similar, estimating that at least 10 000 captive wild animals are affected worldwide. We argue for ‘zero tolerance’ of such ARBs, because stress and poor welfare raise ethical issues, while

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Analysis of stereotypic behaviour and enhanced management in captive Northern Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis housed at Zoological Garden Alipore, Kolkata

In the wild, giraffes live complex social lives exhibiting fission-fusion social systems. They have sophisticated communication which likely forms a crucial component regulating subgroup dynamics. They spend a large part of their day browsing and travelling over large distances. In captivity, lack of continuous browsing opportunities and limited space can lead to various abnormal and stereotypic behaviours. These stereotypic behaviours can have cascading detrimental health consequences. A behavioural analysis of stereotypic behaviours in giraffes under human care was conducted to

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Using Qualitative Behaviour Assessment to Investigate Human-Animal Relationships in Zoo-Housed Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Human-Animal Relationships (HAR) in zoos develop from repeated interactions between animals and their caretakers. HAR have been shown to affect health and welfare in farm animals, but limited zoo-based studies exist. This study investigates the association between the qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA) of emotional expression in giraffes and keeper action score in four types of keeper-animal interaction (KAI). Three giraffes generating 38 clips. QBA, using a free-choice profiling methodology, was applied instructing 18 observers to assess giraffe expressions shown in

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Effects of Guest Feeding Programs on Captive Giraffe Behavior

Zoological institutions develop human-animal interaction opportunities for visitors to advance missions of conservation, education, and recreation; however, the animal welfare implications have yet to be evaluated. This behavioral study was the first to quantify impacts of guest feeding programs on captive giraffe behavior and welfare, by documenting giraffe time budgets that included both normal and stereotypic behaviors. Thirty giraffes from nine zoos (six zoos with varying guest feeding programs and three without) were observed for three days each, using both

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Using a timed feeder to increase activity and exhibit usage in captive giraffes (giraffa camelopardalis)

The use of enrichment to simulate a natural environment has become increasingly important in the management of captive animals, especially in large exotic ungulates. Indicators of positive welfare in giraffes are behaviors that mimic those displayed in the wild. This study uses a randomly timed feeder in an exhibit for a herd of seven captive giraffes at the Oakland Zoo in Oakland, California. I hypothesize that the feeder can be used to stimulate more naturalistic behaviors, where the giraffes continuously

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The effects of increased hay-grain ratio on masai giraffe behavior, health indicators and fecal microflora diversity

We hypothesized that switching to a diet that provides a higher hay-to-grain ratio offered to four Masai giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo would reduce oral stereotypies and increase time spent performing feeding behaviors, maintain or increase serum calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, decrease serum insulin-to-glucose ratio, and alter fecal microbiome community structure. The diet change consisted of transitioning the male from a 50:50 hay-to-grain ratio and the females from a 70:30 hay-to-grain ratio to a 90:10 ratio in even

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