The Effect of Positive Reinforcement Training on an Adult Female Western Lowland Gorilla’s (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) Rate of Abnormal and Aggressive Behavior

Positive reinforcement training (PRT) has become a widely used tool in improving the ease with which husbandry and veterinary procedures are performed for animals under human care. PRT provides positive social interaction, cognitive stimulation, and choice, in addition to desensitization towards potentially stressful situations. As a result, PRT has been used as enrichment to decrease […]

Abnormal behavior and the self-regulation of motivational state

Although most abnormal behaviors, including all stereotypies, indicate poor welfare, some that occur in rare situations are functional and do not indicate a negative situation. There is a wide range of abnormal behaviors that occur in conditions where the animal’s needs are not met, and these can be valuable welfare indicators, but these should never […]

Issues of choice and control in the behaviour of a pair of captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

Stereotyped behaviour occurs in a wide variety of captive animals including ursids. The provision of animal control over aspects of their environment by providing choices is a critical element for improving welfare. The behaviour of two sibling polar bears at a metropolitan zoo was examined to investigate the effect of providing access to their indoor, […]

Activity budgets and the relationship between feeding and stereotypic behaviors in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in a Zoo

Activity budgets were studied in eight Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at Chester Zoo (UK) for 35 days, between January and November 1999. Recordings were made between 10:00 and 16:00 hr (with most behavior frequencies calculated between 10:00 and 14:00 hr). The elephants exhibited variation in activity depending on their age, sex, the time of day […]

Positive reinforcement training moderates only high levels of abnormal behavior in singly housed rhesus macaques

This study evaluated the application of positive reinforcement training (PRT) as an intervention for abnormal behaviors in singly housed laboratory rhesus macaques at 2 large primate facilities. Training involved basic control behaviors and body-part presentation. The study compared baseline behavioral data on 30 adult males and 33 adult females compared with 3 treatment phases presented […]

Behavioral Abnormalities in Captive Nonhuman Primates

In this study, we dealt with 11 species of nonhuman primates across 10 zoos in India. We recorded behavior as instantaneous scans between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. In the study, we segregated behaviors for analyses into abnormal, undesirable, active, and resting. The 4 types of abnormal behavior exhibited included floating limb, self-biting, self-clasping, and […]

Enrichment and aggression in primates

There is considerable evidence that primates housed under impoverished conditions develop behavioural abnormalities, including, in the most extreme example, self-harming behaviour. This has implications for all contexts in which primates are maintained in captivity from laboratories to zoos since by compromising the animals’ psychological well-being and allowing them to develop behavioural abnormalities their value as […]

Stereotypies and Other Abnormal Repetitive Behaviors: Potential Impact on Validity, Reliability, and Replicability of Scientific Outcomes

Normal behavior plays a key role in facilitating homeostasis, especially by allowing the animal to control and modify its environment. Captive environments may interfere with these behavioral responses, and the resulting stress may alter many physiological parameters. Abnormal behaviors indicate that an animal is unable to adjust behaviorally to the captive environment and, hence, may […]

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

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 […]

Distressed Animal Behaviors and Some Recommendations for Improvements at the Kuala Lumpur Zoo, Malaysia

The artificial living conditions of captive animals present numerous challenges for animal caretakers. In this study I explored abnormal behaviors in certain caged animals at the Kuala Lumpur Zoo. Findings obtained from observations of animals and interviews of the zoo staff are followed by recommendations: including the development of standards and manuals, licensing of zoos […]