Oral Stereotypies in Captive Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) Associated with Food Intake

  • Ungulates are the most prevalent mammalian stereotypers (Bergeron et al., 2006).
  • Oral stereotypies are the most common abnormal behavior of zoo-housed giraffes, suggesting that this species develops stereotypic tongue movements (Bashaw et al., 2001).
  • Wild giraffes must use their tongues to remove and consume tree leaves (Baxter & Plowman, 2001); therefore, the saliva production may be high due to the oral stimulation and time involved in selective feeding patterns (Kearney, 2005).
  • Feeding captive giraffes is a challenge. Their diet consists mostly of food concentrates, which are consumed rapidly and do not provide stimulation for their tongues, leading them to develop oral stereotypes (Monson, 2013).
    QUESTION: Is there a relationship between the amount of food consumed and the duration of oral stereotypies in captive giraffes?
Publish DateOctober 7, 2022
Last UpdatedOctober 7, 2022