Consistency of Captive Giraffe Behavior Under Two Different Management Regimes

Long-term animal behavior studies are sometimes conducted at a single site, leading to questions about whether effects are limited to animals in the same environment. Our ability to make general conclusions about behavior is improved when we can identify behaviors that are consistent across a range of environments. To extend Veasey and colleagues’ ([1996b] Anim Welf 5:139–153) study, I compared not only activity budgets but also social behaviour of an all-female group of giraffe at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore (MZiB) to those previously observed in breeding groups at The San Diego Zoo’s Wild Animal Park (SDZWAP; Bashaw et al. [2007] J Comp Psychol 121:46–53). Morning activity budgets and the maintenance of social relationships were consistent across groups. MZiB female giraffe interacted more frequently and the identity of animals that formed the strongest relationships was less predictable than at SDZWAP. Results support earlier findings that captive giraffe maintain social relationships and suggest that studies of giraffe social relationships and activity are generalizable across a range of captive conditions

Last Updated
January 30, 2021
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