Article

Attitude of zoo visitors to the idea of feeding live prey to zoo animals

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  • Eastern Institute of Technology, Napier, New Zealand
Article

Attitude of zoo visitors to the idea of feeding live prey to zoo animals

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Abstract

Two hundred UK zoo visitors were asked about their attitudes regarding the feeding of live prey to zoo animals. All visitors agreed with live insects being fed to lizards, providing it was done off-exhibit, and only 4% objected if done on-exhibit. Seventy-two percent of visitors agreed with live fish being fed to penguins on-exhibit and 84.5% agreed to feeding live fish off-exhibit. However, only 32% agreed to a live rabbit being fed to a cheetah on exhibit, whereas 62.5% agreed to this if done off-exhibit. In general we found female interviewees more likely to object to the feeding of live vertebrate prey. Comments volunteered by interviewees suggested that they agreed with feeding live vertebrate prey because ‘it is natural’. If they objected, it was because ‘it would upset them or their children’. Zoo Biol 16:343–347, 1997. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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... A comparable study had already been carried out in 1995 in Edinburgh zoo, Scotland. It showed that both on-and off-exhibit feeding of live insects to lizards and live fish to penguins was accepted at least by 70% of the study participants, whereas the on-exhibit feeding of live rabbits to cheetahs was only accepted by 32% [Ings et al., 1997]. Moreover, off-exhibit feeding was more appreciated than on-exhibit feeding. ...
... Some participants made comments to justify their opinion, such as; ''it is natural'' and ''in nature, it is normal.'' It has been suggested that there is a ''hierarchy of concern,'' which is a function of the distance of relationship between the prey animal and primates [Eddy et al., 1993;Ings et al., 1997], and our results are consistent with this idea. The more closely a prey animal was related to primates, the fewer participants agreed that it should be fed alive to zoo animals or, if so, that it should be done off-exhibit. ...
... Kellert, 1993a,b;Lindemann-Matthies, 2005]. It is thus not surprising that zoo visitors in both this and other studies were least concerned about the feeding of live insects, and most concerned about the feeding of live rabbits, especially on-exhibit [Ings et al., 1997;McDole, 2007]. Moreover, zoos, like other recreational facilities, are social settings that are often visited by families who want to enjoy their leisure time together and watch their favorite animals [Falk et al., 1986]. ...
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In summer 2007, with the help of a written questionnaire, the attitudes of more than 400 visitors to the zoological garden of Zurich, Switzerland, toward the idea of feeding live insects to lizards, live fish to otters, and live rabbits to tigers were investigated. The majority of Swiss zoo visitors agreed with the idea of feeding live prey (invertebrates and vertebrates) to zoo animals, both off- and on-exhibit, except in the case of feeding live rabbits to tigers on-exhibit. Women and frequent visitors of the zoo disagreed more often with the on-exhibit feeding of live rabbits to tigers. Study participants with a higher level of education were more likely to agree with the idea of feeding live invertebrates and vertebrates to zoo animals off-exhibit. In comparison to an earlier study undertaken in Scotland, zoo visitors in Switzerland were more often in favor of the live feeding of vertebrates. Feeding live prey can counter the loss of hunting skills of carnivores and improve the animals’ well-being. However, feeding enrichments have to strike a balance between optimal living conditions of animals and the quality of visitor experience. Our results show that such a balance can be found, especially when live feeding of mammals is carried out off-exhibit. A good interpretation of food enrichment might help zoos to win more support for the issue, and for re-introduction programs and conservation.
... Research into public perception of live prey feeding (whether it involves invertebrates or vertebrates as either the prey or predator) has, until now, been focused entirely on terrestrial animals [1,2]. This research bias is potentially due to a natural tendency to focus more on terrestrial species which elicit a higher emotional attachment [3,4]. ...
... Opinion based questionnaires have been used to see if visitors of zoos find live prey feeding ethically acceptable [1,2] The general outcome suggested broad acceptance, however, there are influencing factors. Females are generally less supportive of live prey feeding and frequent visitors of zoos are more likely to disagree with on-show live feeding of animals. ...
... In previous studies [1,2], females were more likely to find live prey feeding of terrestrial animals 'slightly unacceptable', yet the findings from this data did not reflect that, instead showing no significant differences between males and females. Due to a smaller sample size of males it is possible that this data is unreliable, however, there may also be explanations for the similarities. ...
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Previous research into public perceptions of live prey feeding has been focused on terrestrial animals. The reasons for this likely relate to the difficulty humans have in being compassionate to animals who are phylogenetically distantly related. In order to test these assumptions, the general public (two groups; one who had just visited an aquarium; and one group who had just visited a zoo), aquarium professionals in the UK/US and terrestrial zoo animal professionals (UK) were investigated to see how they would differ in their responses when asked about feeding various live aquatic animals to one another. Likert based surveys were used to obtain data face to face and via online social media. Demographics in previous research identified a lower acceptance of live prey feeding by females, however in aquatic animals this was not reflected. Instead, separations in perception were seen to exist between participants dependent on whether they had just visited a zoo or aquarium, or worked with animals.
... A major impediment to feeding zoo-housed carnivores is the widespread assumption that zoo visitors object to the most naturalistic feeding methods. Modern zoo visitors are concerned about the welfare of zoo animals [Reade and Waran, 1996;Ings et al., 1997] and prefer naturalistic enclosures [Melfi et al., 2004], but they might not necessarily want to see every feature of natural animal behavior. Zoos are thus assumed to avoid controversial feeding methods for their carnivorous animals because their visitors might not approve [Young 1997;Heine 1998;Houst 1998, cited in Stark, 2004Melfi and Knight, 2006]. ...
... Visitor surveys in European zoos, however, found that the majority of participants approve of live prey feeding, but show more concern for mammals than for insects as prey animals. Visitors were also more likely to approve of live prey feeding performed out of their sight [Ings et al., 1997;Lemmen et al., 2008;Cottle et al., 2010]. One study in the US reported positive reactions of visitors to the feeding of live rats to wolves and bears [Heine, 1998]. ...
... In general, most surveyed visitors approved of carcass feeding regardless of the prey species. Like many surveys on live prey feeding [Ings et al., 1997;Lemmen et al., 2008;Cottle et al., 2010], however, we also found a hierarchy of concern among some visitors for different prey species that are fed to vultures as whole carcasses: disapproval of carcass feeding slightly increased with carcass size and taxonomic proximity to humans. ...
Article
Naturalistic feeding methods, such as the provision of whole carcasses to zoo animals, are potentially controversial because zoo visitors might not approve of them. However, since several species of zoo animals feed from large carcasses in the wild, this food type could benefit their welfare in captivity compared to other less-natural food types. Scavengers in particular almost exclusively live on carcasses in nature; therefore, their welfare in captivity could significantly depend on the opportunity to express behaviors related to carcass feeding. In this study, we assessed the frequency of carcass feeding for vultures in North American zoos and investigated the effect of different food types on the behavior of zoo-housed Andean condors (Vultur gryphus). We also evaluated the opinion of North American zoo visitors about carcass feeding. Our results show that small whole carcasses (rats, rabbits) are part of the diet of vultures in most North American zoos, but large whole carcasses (ungulates) are rarely fed. Our behavioral study indicated that Andean condors appear to be more motivated to feed on more natural food types, which also seem to physically engage the birds more and occupy them longer. Most zoo visitors approved of carcass feeding for captive vultures over a range of prey animals, and the majority would also like to observe the vultures eat. Collectively, our results demonstrate that carcass feeding, particularly with larger prey, potentially enriches both zoo-housed vultures as well as the visitor experience. Zoo Biol. 9999:1–12, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
... It is difficult to interpret whether zoo visitors want to see active behaviors because they are rare, and therefore more exciting, or because they represent good welfare. A survey investigating the attitudes of zoo visitors to feeding live prey illustrated that visitors felt strongly that captive animals should be given live prey because it is natural (Ings, Waran and Young 1997). However, the same respondents did not necessarily want to see this natural behavior; 62.5% thought a live rabbit should be fed to a cheetah, but only half of these respondents would want live feeding to take place on exhibit (Ings, Waran and Young 1997). ...
... A survey investigating the attitudes of zoo visitors to feeding live prey illustrated that visitors felt strongly that captive animals should be given live prey because it is natural (Ings, Waran and Young 1997). However, the same respondents did not necessarily want to see this natural behavior; 62.5% thought a live rabbit should be fed to a cheetah, but only half of these respondents would want live feeding to take place on exhibit (Ings, Waran and Young 1997). In this context, it appears that the public might be judging animal welfare on the basis of what they would most like to see, rather than on what is genuinely best for the tiger. ...
Article
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Visitors to zoos make judgements about animal welfare on the basis of what they see during their visit. There has been a considerable amount of research and debate surrounding the use of enclosure style and/or animal behavior to act as indicators of animal welfare. There are assumptions, supported by some studies but contradicted by others, that naturalistic enclosures and the expression of “wild behavior” inherently promote good welfare. These assumptions also appear to be used by the public to judge the welfare of zoo-housed animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether visitors to Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, UK, were using these assumptions to judge the welfare of zoo-housed animals. Visitors (n=42) were shown two series of photographs (n=8 in each series), one representing different primate enclosure styles and one depicting different tiger behaviors. The visitors were asked to rank the photographs in response to a series of questions (n=4 primate enclosure; n=5 tiger behavior). The public were consistent in their assessment of enclosure styles, which confirmed they held the assumption that naturalistic enclosures are good; all respondents rated the greenest enclosure highly and thought its inhabitants would have the best welfare. The interpretation of captive tiger behavior was also consistent across respondents, but this did not clearly indicate that they thought wild behavior was good. Most respondents thought that tigers in captivity and in the wild performed similar behavior. However, they did not think that expression of wild-type behavior was indicative of good welfare in captivity.
... There seems to be a hierarchy between different freedoms of different animals, where the freedoms from pain and distress of the prey animal are favoured over the freedom to express natural behaviour of the predatory animal. This issue also involves humanistic and moralistic attitudes, i.e. the prime motivator (besides the law) for zoological gardens to substitute live prey with carcasses for large predators seems to be the attitude of the public (Ings et al. 1997). This conundrum of people tolerating some animals being fed alive but not others indicates that there is a species bias at playconsidering that live vertebrate mammals as prey is clearly a more sensitive issue than feeding live insects or fish. ...
... In a relatively recent study, zoo visitors mostly agreed with the principle of feeding live insects and fish to other animals but almost half of the visitors did not agree with the principle of feeding live rabbits to tigers (Cottle et al. 2010). A similar study was carried out more than a decade earlier (Ings et al. 1997), and although the results have changed towards acceptance of feeding live vertebrate prey, the conflict between the freedom to express normal behaviour on the predator's side and the freedom from fear, injuries and distress on the prey animal side is still remarkable. It may be the case that pain and distress are more immediately perceivable than freedom to express natural behaviour and are thus granted more attention. ...
Article
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Animal welfare is a complex matter that includes scientific, ethical, economic and other dimensions. Despite the existence of more comprehensive approaches to animal welfare and the obvious shortcomings of the ‘Five Freedoms’, for zoological gardens the freedoms still constitute the general guidelines to be followed. These guidelines reflect both, an ethical view and a science based approach. Analysis reveals that the potential ineptitude of the ‘Five Freedoms’ lies in the manifold perceptions that people have of other animals. These perceptions are biased by our own (mammalian) umwelt, which is intertwined with different cultural attitudes towards other species (e.g. humanistic, moralistic, ecologistic). Perceptions of animals may be held simultaneously by different interest groups and may often be incompatible, thus often making it difficult to follow the ‘Five Freedoms’ in practice. We aim to recognise and consider the multiplicity of factors that, besides animal subjectivity, are relevant in understanding this hybrid environment. The moral value and practical applicability of the ‘Five Freedoms’ are sometimes undermined by prioritising some freedoms over others and by species bias. Both are characteristic phenomena of the zoo as a hybrid environment where other species are managed by humans. Given deficiencies are further amplified by humanistic and moralistic attitudes that people hold.
... Visitors may find live prey hunting and consumption unpleasant, and therefore detrimental to the visitor experience. With respect to the latter, several studies have demonstrated that, for the most part, zoo visitors find the use of live prey, both vertebrate and invertebrate, and for a variety of zoo-and aquarium-housed terrestrial and aquatic species on-or off-exhibit, an acceptable form of enrichment [49][50][51][52]. Therefore, facilities using live prey as enrichment should consider the advantages and disadvantages of such introductions on the exhibited animal, the introduced prey, and the visitors. ...
... Again, while anecdotal, most of the visitor experiences appeared positive, particularly with respect to children observing natural penguin predation. Previous researchers have noted that most visitors surveyed (72-85%) approved of the use of fish as live prey for zoo animals such as penguins and otters [50,51]. What remains unclear is how visitors would adjust their approval of live fish or other potential prey while directly observing predation. ...
Article
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Penguins are considered among the most popular animals for zoo and aquarium visitors to observe. Swimming is considered a desirable activity, both for the visitor experience and the welfare of the penguins. However, little is known about the amount of time exhibited penguins spend swimming, or how such swimming is related to regular feeding events. We examined the effects of introducing live prey in the form of trout on 22 Humboldt penguins living at the Woodland Park Zoo. Of primary interest was how the live feeds changed (1) daily and hourly swimming activity, and (2) variability in enclosure use. We hypothesized that the live feedings would increase swimming activity prior to and during the delivery of the live trout, as well as create an overall increase in total swimming activity for live feed days compared to non-live feed days. We also predicted that the penguins would be more likely to use the entire exhibit around these live feeds, since they are likely to chase fish throughout the exhibit. Penguins did show an increase in swimming activity in the hour prior to and during the live feed, with a small decrease in swimming activity following the live feed when compared to non-live feed days. There was also a more than 30% increase in the total swimming activity for live feed days when compared to all other non-live feed days. In addition, a single measure of variability in enclosure use (entropy) showed greater overall enclosure use for the live feed days compared to the non-live feed days. These results demonstrate that live fish can be a useful way of enriching the behavioural welfare of Humboldt penguins.
... Young adults often demonstrate greater sensitivity to animal welfare issues than do elderly people (Reade & Waran, 1996). Other studies have shown that pet owners typically have greater sensitivity to the welfare of captive animals (McPhee et al., 1998;Paul & Serpell, 1993), and that females show greater sensitivity in this regard than males (Ings, Waran, & Young, 1997;Kidd & Kidd, 1989;Herzog, 2007). In light of some early evidence and the exploratory study the following relationships are hypothesized: ...
Article
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From time immemorial human beings have utilized animals for various needs and purposes, which led societies to debate the justification for using animals and to reflect on the way in which animals are treated. These concerns have also resulted in various contemporary studies aimed to reveal interest groups� � as well as the general publics� � views and opinions on the issues under dispute. Nevertheless, despite the considerable incorporation of animals in entertainment and leisure venues, only limited efforts have been geared towards exploring the ethical aspects of using animals in these initiatives. This lack of attention is especially evident in the tourism literature, despite the great relevancy of animal-based attractions to the tourism industry. Moreover, despite certain preliminary attempts to investigate people�s perceptions of the use of animals in attractions, their attitudes for the most part are still ambiguous and speculative. Consequently, the purpose of the current research was to fill these and other gaps in the literature by investigating tourists� attitudes toward various animal-based attractions. The theoretical framework used for the study was based on a previous exploratory qualitative research, which also assisted in developing the research questions and hypotheses as well as in constructing the study survey. Therefore, the current study�s instrument attempts to cover the main aspects of tourists� attitudes as they appear both in the literature and in the exploratory study. The survey was conducted among 252 tourists to the Central Florida area, using judgmental sampling with the intent to ensure heterogeneity among the study sample. Prior to addressing the research questions, the study instrument was tested for reliability and validity, which were found to be at satisfactory levels. The statistical analyses revealed some interesting findings with important implications for both research and practice. While several inquiries were evaluated in the course of the dissertation, the central findings of the study concerned the prominent aspects of tourists� ethical evaluation of animal-based attractions. The tourists expressed the highest agreement with the roles of the attractions in conservation, in family-oriented experience, in education, and as an alternative to nature. They also expressed a clear animal welfare approach, as they put the greatest importance on the way the animals are treated and trained by their keepers among conditions for ethical operations. Nevertheless, it was found that the key to developing positive attitudes toward attractions is the conviction in general arguments in favor of their presence, while specific sites��� attributes seem to be more limited in their influence on the tourists� overall attitudes. In addition, belief in the positive effects of public opinion on attractions� ethical treatment of animals was found to have a greater association with tourists� attitudes, in comparison to more formal supervision and regulations. No less important, the study�s findings confirm the heterogeneous nature of animal-based attractions as perceived by tourists, where multiple dominant factors influence attitudes toward diverse attraction types. Following the description of the results, the dissertation offers specific recommendations based on the findings for the management and marketing functions in animal-based attractions, especially with regard to potential steps for the purpose of improving and enhancing their ethical image among tourists. The study can be seen as one of the few comprehensive attempts to investigate tourists� attitudes toward animal-based attractions in the tourism literature, which can also serve as a benchmark and a basis for future studies on this contentious issue. The paper ends with an assessment of the study�s limitations, and a series of suggestions of relevant topics for future investigations.
... Shettel-Neuber (1988) found that visitors prefer exhibits with the following features: Beauty, openness, variety and closeness to animals. Visitors also prefer naturalistic enclosures with enrichment (Tofield et al., 2003), but yet do not want it to be offensive (Ings et al., 1997;Markowitz and Aday, 1998). As the ''success'' of a particular zoo exhibit may be tied to a number of factors, it is necessary to pull these apart and assess each of the components individually, including presence (or absence) of enrichment items. ...
Article
A debate exists among modern zoo staff as to whether or not the addition of un-naturalistic enrichment takes away from, or even defeats, the educational messages designers are trying to incorporate in naturalistic exhibits. A visitor study was conducted at the Central Park Zoo's polar bear exhibit in order to determine whether or not the type of enrichment in an enclosure actually alters guest perceptions. Visitors were exposed to one of two enrichment treatments in the bear enclosure: Naturalistic or Un-naturalistic. The results of this study suggest that enrichment type did not alter the perceptions of visitors. However, it did identify some of the different ways adults and youths perceive animals and zoos. Additionally, the study highlighted the varying perceptions individuals have of the concept of polar bears vs. their perceptions of the captive individuals at the Central Park Zoo. Implications for enrichment usage and exhibit design are discussed.
... Health risks must also be removed. Another important issue is how zoo visitors might react; they will certainly not react in the same manner to a cricket being eaten by a bat as to a rabbit being suffocated by a snake (Ings et al. 1997). This emotional reaction from visitors, which entirely depends on the type of prey and its reaction to the predator, could be called speciesism; but there is also the variable aspect of nociception (set of phenomena that allow a central nervous system to integrate a painful stimulus by activating nociceptors (pain receptors) found in the skin, muscle tissue and joints) to be taken into account. ...
Chapter
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Animal welfare can be defined on the principle that an captive animal must not present prolonged negative emotional states thanks to physical and social environments that allow it to express its full behavioural repertoire and maintain its homeostasis. For several years, livestock breeders and zoos have been working to increase the welfare of their animals by applying ergonomic principles otherwise called environmental "enrichments". These enrichments must allow the animal to conduct a daily activity that satisfies it physical, physiological and cognitive needs, which in concrete terms is shown by (1) an increase in behavioural diversity, (2) a reduction in the frequency of abnormal behaviours (stereotypies for example), and finally (3) an increase in the positive and full use of the captive environment. This of course requires specific knowledge of the animal's behavioural repertoire in its natural environment, but also of its ecology and biology in general. Five enrichment categories can be defined: physical, social, feed, sensory and cognitive. Much progress has been made in terms of physical enrichment: size of pen or presence of structures and accessories are now seen as a priority, particularly at zoos. But there is room for other improvements, particularly for social enrichment: the important presence of animals of the same species is often overlooked. In terms of food, key problems are often noted for social carnivores but in general there is very little diversity in feed composition or its spatial or temporal distribution. Once again, improvements can only be made through understanding of the biology and ethology of the species held in captivity but also by examining the principle of animal welfare at all levels of society.
... However, more international research is needed, particularly from developing countries that are home to most of the world's biodiversity. Furthermore, findings have not always shown that naturalistic exhibits enrich the visitor experience (e.g., Brennan 1977), some results are not always clear-cut (e.g., Shettel-Neuber 1988;McPhee et al. 1998), and some visitors may disapprove of enrichment features (e.g., Verderber et al. 1988;Ings, Waran and Young 1997), and these concerns need to be researched further. ...
Article
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Visitors are integral components of zoological parks and their importance has led to a research area devoted to understanding the people-zoo relationship. This paper reviews, and provides a point of entry into, the literature relating to visitor research in zoos. The field emerged relatively recently and is diverse and interdisciplinary (it shares common ground with sociology, education, psychology, zoology, and other academic disciplines). Several areas can be identified in the literature (audience analysis, circulation and orientation, exhibit evaluation, and interactions with animals), and these areas have revealed visitors' demographic and behavioral characteristics, people's behavioral responses to endogenous and exogenous factors, the impact of exhibit design, and visitors' movements around zoos. Limitations of existing work include independence between research areas, lack of international studies, limited generalizability of results, and the minority status of the field. Therefore, suggestions for future work include integrating different research areas, more research from outside Europe and America, and increased interaction within the visitor research community.
... In a study investigating zoo visitor attitudes toward the feeding of live prey off-exhibit, 100% of those questioned had no concerns with the feeding of live invertebrates (insects) to reptiles (Ings, Waran, & Young, 1997). This is compared to only 84% being comfortable with the feeding of live fish to penguins and only 62% were comfortable feeding live rabbits to carnivores. ...
Article
Invertebrates constitute more than 90% of all species on earth, however, as a rule, humans do not regard invertebrates as creatures that can suffer and they are generally seen as creatures that should be eliminated. As a result, the importance of their welfare may be grossly unappreciated. For instance, the feeding of live food is often viewed as a good method of enrichment and invertebrates are commonly used as live prey in many zoological facilities. As a result, zoos may send mixed messages to their patrons in that welfare is considered only for the invertebrates that are part of their zoological collection and not necessarily for the invertebrates used as feed. Research indicates that many invertebrates possess nociceptors, opioid receptors, and demonstrate behavioral responses indicative of pain sensation. In addition, in some taxa, there may be evidence of higher cognitive functions such as emotions and learning, although studies in this area of research are preliminary and sparse. Therefore, the possibility for suffering exists in many invertebrate species and as such, zoological facilities have an ethical responsibility to take their welfare into consideration. This paper discusses the current research regarding invertebrates’ capacity for suffering and discusses methods facilities can use to improve the welfare of their invertebrate live prey.
... For example, a study conducted on the public knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards the Bottle-nosed dolphin Tursiops truncatus suggested that the species was poorly understood and potentially harmful behaviours towards the captive animals were widespread (Barney et al., 2005). Several zoos have also conducted periodic questionnaire surveys to study visitor perceptions on various issues such as their interest in a new exhibit (Wilson et al., 2003), a particular taxa (Margulis et al., 2003) or a new husbandry regime (Ings et al., 1997;McPhee et al., 1998;Wood, 1998). Results from such questionnaire surveys could help to improve visitor interest in particular exhibits or overall, in the zoo itself. ...
Article
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A questionnaire survey was conducted to assess the educative influence of zoo visits on their visitors at three Indian zoos. Although 300 questionnaires were completed at each site, 150 questionnaires each for ‘zoo visitors’ and the ‘general public’, only 863 (96%) were used in the analysis because the others were incomplete. A significantly higher number of ‘zoo visitors’ (n=111/150, 74%) were found to be aware of the appearance and biology of the Lion-tailed macaque Macaca silenus in comparison with the ‘general public’ (n=67/150, 45%) at Thiruvananthapuram Zoo (TZ). When asked about the goals of a zoo, a relatively greater percentage of the ‘zoo visitors’ at Arignar Anna Zoological Park (20%) and TZ (29%) stated that the goal of the zoo was to protect endangered species, while 69% of the ‘zoo visitors’ at Shri Chamarajendra Zoological Garden said they did not know. As high as 64% of the ‘zoo visitors’ across the three zoos said that a zoo could definitely help protect wild animals. Overall, the ‘zoo visitors’ correctly answered a greater number of questions on the biology, behaviour and habitat of Lion-tailed macaques in comparison with the ‘general public’. Our study suggests that zoos are an excellent learning environment to convey the ‘conservation and education’ messages but currently they are an underutilized resource. Zoos could initiate the process of educating their public by providing them with ‘pocket’ guides and brochures on wildlife at the entrance and also by conducting 15 minute-long talks at the animal exhibits about crucial conservation and wildlife issues.
... Visitors responded more positively to carcass feeding in this case compared with similar studies conducted by Veniga & Lemon (2001) andPratt (2009). The suggestion that females would be more sensitive than men to the feeding because they show a greater emotional response toward animals ( Cottle et al., 2010;Ings et al., 1997;Pratt, 2009) was also found to be false during this study. The gender ratio of this study was imbalanced toward females (58% identifying as female). ...
Article
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Enrichment is a key to keeping animals in zoos healthy and stimulated. For carnivores, the practice of feeding vertebrate animal carcasses, like those of goats or deer, or whole body prey animals like chickens or rabbits, can be an effective form of enrichment. While it is beneficial for animal care, carcass feeding may also be off-putting to some visitors. This research aimed to address this concern by describing the attitudes and comfort levels of visitors who viewed carcass feeding in three exhibits at the ABQ BioPark Zoo in Albuquerque, New Mexico: spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta), Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), and African painted dog (Lycaon pictus). Results showed that visitors stayed at exhibits longer when a carcass was introduced and reported feeling generally comfortable and at ease while viewing carcass feeding. Findings also showed that visitors felt carcass feeding was beneficial to animal care and welfare.
... The addition of these feed components to folivorous primates diets resulted in better feaces consistency, which could be explained in a few ways, for example, higher fiber concentration in these feeds, water binding capacity of some of the browse secondary compounds or products of its breakdown, and decreased risk of digestive upset . What is more, today's zoo visitors are interested in the natural biology, behavior and welfare of animals, also related to feeding strategies and feed components of wild animals observed in captivity (Gaengler & Clum, 2015;Ings et al., 1997;Reade & Waran, 1996). Therefore provision of natural food for animals, such as leaves for leaf-eating primates may be especially important from both nutritional and an educational point of view. ...
Article
Young leaves are favored by mantled guereza (Colobus guereza) and the gastrointestinal tract of this species is well adapted to such a high fiber diet. Fresh maple leaves are often used in the diets for guereza in captivity but their use in winter feeding time is limited. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of additives on chemical composition and fermentation parameters of maple leaf silage, as well as inclusion of maple leaf silage in the diet for mantled guereza on feed and nutrient intake. Maple leaves were ensiled without additives (MLS), with a mixture of bacterial inoculants (MLS + BI) and with carrot additives (MLS + C). The chemical composition and fermentation parameters were determined in fresh and ensiled material. A group of seven mantled guerezas were fed a standard diet, and afterwards shifted to a diet with maple leaf silage (contained 20% of MLS; as fed). Each diet was fed for 7 days when the feed and nutrient intake were measured. The ensiling process did not change the concentration of most nutrients compared to the fresh material. The inclusion of leaf silage increased dry matter intake by guereza (125.3 vs. 163.3 g dry matter/day). Therefore, higher nutrient intake (crude protein, NDF, ADF) was observed when maple leaf silage was included in the diet. In conclusion, the ensiling process (even without additives) proved to be a good conservation method for maple leaves. Furthermore, inclusion of maple leaf silage in the winter diets for guereza, and possibly other folivorous primates, may increase dry matter and nutrients (particularly fiber) intake. Research Highlights • Ensiling (with or without additives) was a good conservation method for maple leaves • Maple leaf silage was readily consumed by mantled guereza • Maple leaf silage inclusion in the diet may result in higher NDF and ADF intake in captive mantled guereza and possibly other folivorous primates
... Most people believe that zoo enclosures should resemble animals' natural environments (Reade & Waran, 1996), and prefer naturalistic enclosures compared to barren ones Price, Ashmore, & McGivern, 1994;Shettel-Neuber, 1988). Yet, the public does not always consider animal welfare improvements to be important, and some people express disproval of naturalistic exhibits and other enrichment features (Ings, Waran, & Young, 1997;McPhee, Foster, Sevenich, & Saunders, 1998;Reade & Waran, 1996;Shettel-Neuber, 1988;Verderber, Gardner, Islam, & Nakanishi, 1988). ...
Article
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It is necessary to understand people's attitudes toward zoos because zoos that are perceived positively may receive more visitors and thus have more opportunities to fulfill their mission to promote environmental education and global conservation. Unfortunately, research is limited, particularly from developing countries such as China. The present study surveyed Chinese people's perceptions of the roles of zoos, animal welfare initiatives, and the well-being of captive animals. The majority of respondents held favorable attitudes toward zoos and captive animals, although some concerns were expressed about animal well-being. Zoo visitors held more positive perceptions than the general public and students; this was explained on the basis of opportunities in the zoo to experience naturalistic exhibits and to learn about ongoing welfare initiatives.
... Therefore more research from other zoos, exhibits and animal species in different countries would establish if the findings are generalisable. There are also other perceived drawbacks of naturalistic exhibits that require further ratification but were not included in the present study; they include difficulties cleaning and maintaining exhibits and also financial constraints; investigation into the needs of other stakeholders, including keepers and management, will also be very useful (Brennan, 1977;Shettel-Neuber, 1988;McPhee et al., 1998;Verderber et al., 1988;Ings et al., 1997). ...
Article
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Efforts to meet the welfare needs of captive animals (such as the provision of environmental enrichment and naturalistic furnishings) often compromise visitors’ needs (naturalistic exhibits often decrease the visibility of animals on display even though visitors pay to view them). The literature offers different predictions about how zoo visitors respond to decreased animal visibility in naturalistic exhibits but they require further evaluation. Further, visitor research is currently confined to Europe and America and studies outside these areas are limited. This paper investigates the relationships between exhibit naturalism, animal visibility and visitor interest in a Chinese Zoo. Visitor interest was observed at both naturalistic and barren exhibit designs. The study showed that the influence of animal presence on visitor behaviours was similar at both exhibit designs. Further, visitor interest was not compromised at the naturalistic exhibit when animals were not visible. The results demonstrate that the needs of animals and visitors can be balanced at naturalistic exhibits and support the transformation of exhibits to those representing naturalistic environments.
... However, there is variation within the literature on the effect of different types of enrichments (e.g. naturalistic vs. unnaturalistic) on visitor perceptions and attitudes where some have argued there can be substantial variation in visitor responses to enrichment, in particular to where it is provided (e.g. on exhibit or off exhibit) (Cottle et al., 2010;Ings et al., 1997;McPhee et al., 1998), while others have found no effect of enrichment type on visitor perceptions (Kutska, 2009). It is worth noting, however, that it is also unclear as to whether these positive visitor perceptions of enclosures when enrichment is present is due to the visitors valuing 'enrichment' as an animal welfare strategy, or simply because enrichment may make the observed animals more visible or active. ...
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Animal-Visitor Interactions (AVIs) have become commonplace in zoological institutions and facilities globally. However, most AVI research focuses on the effects of visitors on the welfare of animals, with considerably less studies examining the visitor experience itself. Furthermore, robust evaluations of the efficacy of zoo education programs and engagements for increasing visitor awareness of conservation issues, and for fostering long-term pro-conservation behavior changes in them, are under researched. This paper reviews the current literature that pertains to the effects of zoo visitation and AVIs on visitor perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes. We briefly note some of the known effects that zoo visitors have on zoo animals, and conversely explore the effects that factors such as enclosure design, animal visibility and behaviors, and AVIs can have on visitors' overall experience whilst attending the zoo. We suggest that future research needs to more closely examine the relationships and interactions between zoo visitors and zoo animals; why some zoo visitors maintain repeat visitation over others; what the differences in beliefs and attitudes may be between "zoo visitors" and "non-zoo visitors" (i.e., other general public); and to make a concerted effort to 2 understand: (1) what visitors are doing after they leave the zoo, and (2) whether visitors are adopting long-term pro-conservation behaviors into their daily lives. We further suggest that future research needs to start investigating indirect measures related to the visitor experience, such as: (a) individual conservation support outside of the zoo; (b) internet activity; (c) changes in sustainable purchasing practices related to knowledge gains; (d) financial investment in sustainable or ethical companies after knowledge gains; (e) and the longitudinal effects of zoo visits.
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As the agency responsible for managing human interactions with wildlife in Western Australia, the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) is faced with a complex issue. Wildlife is a significant component of the nature-based dominated tourism market in Western Australia. Tourists appear to expect naturalistic, easily accessible, close encounters with appealing wildlife, preferably in areas resembling a wilderness. Meeting this demand may result in serious risks to both tourists and the wildlife they seek to interact with. The legally driven conservation mandate of CALM operates to minimize impacts on natural areas and wildlife. Wildlife tourism demand is focused on opportunities for accessible experiences, preferably with close interaction and rare species. Somehow, a balance must be struck between the legal and ethical requirement to minimize risk to wildlife and human welfare while maximizing tourism market opportunities. This article presents a study of one way in which CALM has acted to ensure access to wildlife while attempting to minimize negative impacts.
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Here in Kurdistan Region of Iraq, particularly in Duhok zoo, animal welfare is mostly neglected. Animals are not treated normally. As far as the author is aware, there is no study undertaken to understand the students or public attitudes toward animals in Duhok zoo. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the attitudes of the students of the University of Zakho, Faculty of Sciences, Departments of Environmental Sciences, and Biology about animal welfare concerns of Duhok Zoo. The study was undertaken at University of Zakho, Faculty of Sciences. Two hundred questionnaires were divided into the students of both Environmental Sciences and Biology Departments. The questionnaire comprised of 15 questions with 3 sections, which were: first, students identification including name, age, and sex. Second, information on animal welfare, and the last one was recording their opinions on the questionnaire. With each question, students had chosen one of the following opinions: Completely Disagree, Somewhat Disagree, Neither Disagree nor Agree, Somewhat Agree, and Completely Agree. All participants agreed to answer the questionnaire voluntarily. Results revealed that most of the students were of opinion that Duhok zoo should be improved; in addition, most of them were entirely or somewhat disagreed that Duhok zoo is acceptable in general. They had an agreement with the idea that there should be educational programs inside the zoo, and in addition, the zoo does not cover environmental needs for the most, if not all, captive animals. Students were also agreed that there should be conservation programs to conserve captive animals, especially endangered and rare species. However, almost all of the students did not want the zoo to be closed entirely. According to the findings of the students' attitudes obtained, it can be concluded that the zoological park of Duhok city has many shortages regarding the welfare of animals in dealing with their captive animals.
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A questionnaire survey of 385 UK-based university students was used to investigate whether there was an association between pet keeping in childhood and humane attitudes in young adulthood. Subjects gave detailed, retrospective reports of the pets they had kept during their childhoods, and a variety of attitude scales and open-ended questions were used to measure their current attitudes concerning the welfare of both animals and humans. Higher levels of childhood pet keeping were related to more positive attitudes towards pet animals and greater concerns about the welfare of non-pet animals and humans. Ethical food avoidance practices (eg vegetarianism); membership of animal welfare and environmental organizations were also found to be associated with pet keeping during childhood. Knowledge of the experiences that underlie existing variation in humane attitudes will greatly assist the development of more effective humane education programmes in the future.
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Reintroduction to the wild of threatened species has become a modern additional justification for captive propagation. This conservation procedure is costly, and both economic resources and the absence of optimal conditions in the field limit the IUCN recommendations for reintroduction to a small proportion of potential candidate species. Furthermore reintroduction attempts often fail. In carnivores, reintroduction failure is attributed to unsuitable adaptation in the field by captive-reared animals, due to their lack of hunting skills, their tendency to leave the target area, their inadequate interaction with conspecifics or their excessive confidence in humans. This list of causes is based on very few studies of carnivore adaptation after reintroduction. In very rare and endangered species, monitoring individual case-histories is the only way to evaluate reintroduction success. We report a successful experimental release of an Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) which grew up in captivity. Careful feeding-training and avoidance of human contact during the captive phase, as well as good habitat quality and correct interaction with other wild lynx in the release site, seem to account for the observed success. Permanence of the lynx within the release area might be related to the availability of territory vacancies in the receiving population. Our results allow some optimism for future reintroductions of this endangered species in areas where it has become extinct recently.
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Examined the effects of present pet ownership (PO) or non-PO, child PO or non-PO, sex, and family size on 900 adults' attitudes and attachment to pets. Ss were given the Pet Attitude Inventory (C. C. Wilson et al; see record 1989-11859-001). Ss who were current or past pet owners acknowledged more attachment than nonowners. Also, current pet owners owned significantly more pets during childhood than current nonowners. Women, single Ss, and Ss without children showed significantly more attachment than men, married Ss, and parents, respectively. Adults' attachment to pets may depend in part on the time and energy available to the adult and the amount of nurturance demanded by the pet. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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There are a number of management procedures that can be implemented in zoos which would create a more complex environment for felids and encourage them to achieve a more complete behavioural repertoire. Enclosure substrates and furnishings and the techniques used for offering food to captive cats all influence their psychological well-being. This paper discusses some of the common misconceptions about cats in captivity and presents information about beneficial changes that have already been made in some institutions.
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The increasingly widespread use of the term ethological ‘need’, implying that the welfare of animals in intensive husbandry systems will suffer if they are unable to express a normal range of behaviour patterns, has been criticized on the grounds that the term has not been clearly defined nor does it rest on a solid scientific foundation. In this critical review, evidence is presented which is consistent with the idea that there are cases in which the performance of behaviour itself does have motivationally significant consequences which are not necessarily related to functional requirements. For example, hens go through nest-building sequences during pre-laying behaviour, even though the nest they created previously is still available. This kind of finding is difficult to explain without involving the concept of ethological ‘need’. Existing models of motivation are shown to be inadequate in explaining much of the behaviour seen in barren or impoverished environments, or when the animals are highly motivated in situations where consummatory behaviour is difficult to carry out. A modified model which can account for the occurrence of these stereotyped, abnormal and repetitive behaviour patterns is presented. The problems raised by equating the term ‘need’ with ‘necessity’ are discussed, particularly in the context of intensive environments where animals are faced with the task of occupying long periods of time with a limited range of behaviour patterns; the authors agree with Dawkins that one solution is its replacement by the concept of ‘elasticity’, but argue that the notion of ‘necessity’ may need to be broadened.
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Based on preliminary observations of 15 cheetahs at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, a protocol of behaviors associated with feeding was devised. Five animals were then acclimated to videotaping from which comparisons of feeding on commercial and carcass diets were made. Improved appetites, longer feeding bouts and a greater possessiveness of food characterized the carcass-fed animals. Although the commercial diet is nutritionally balanced, these differences indicate that certain non-nutritive requirements are important to psychological health. In addition, the dental abnormalities and oral infections that are found in the captive population could be an indication of the importance of food texture. By recognizing the importance of food texture, flavor and temperature to the effort expended and interest demonstrated in feeding by captive cheetahs, we may enhance their physical and psychological well-being.
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Despite the recent growth in scientific attention focusing upon human-animal relationships, very little research has been conducted in relation to the human experience of, and relationship with, zoo animals. In order to assess how the general public perceive zoo animals, a street survey questionnaire was used (Study 1, n = 200). In addition, a second study was carried out within Edinburgh Zoo, during which 216 zoo visitors were interviewed to establish their perceptions of zoos and their animals. The results of Study 1 indicate that conservation is generally considered to be the main role of the zoo today, that the general public outside of the zoo environment have a number of negative perceptions of zoo animals, such as them being bored and sad, and that these perceptions are affected by age and sex of respondent. By comparison, actual zoo visitors, in Study 2, appear to have a more positive perception of zoo animals and a greater awareness of the value of environmental enrichment. It appears that zoo visitors are influenced by the visual messages that they receive as they move throughout the zoo environment.
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