The study aimed at spatial-temporal behaviour and possible path-use of zoo-giraffes (Osnabrück Zoo). Another aim was to reveal possible connections between external factors and the spatial behaviour of the animals. Results should be used for the restructuring of the giraffes’ outdoor enclosure as well. The herd consisted of one bull, three females and one calf.
Data recording took place in July/August 2014 (ca. 170 observing hours, > 2000 scan-points recorded). The animals were observed by scan-sampling-method. For path-use animals were observed individually (ca. 45 observing hours, > 5100 scan-points).
The results suggest that the animals are using paths. Some paths seem to connect feeding areas and to promote energy saving, also. Spatial behaviour of females (and the calf) is more similar to each other than in comparison with the bull. Giraffes’ organization in female groups and also their social preferences cause them to be close together most of the time. The influence of visitor numbers and the weather on spatial use could not be fully resolved. It remains questionable why the animals tended to frequent two areas near the visitors with increased temperatures. Most of the time was invested in the feeding activity.