A Protocol for the Ethical Assessment of Wild Animal-Visitor Interactions (AVIP) Evaluating Animal Welfare, Education, and Conservation Outcomes

Due to the popularity of wild animal–visitor interactions(AVIs),there is a need for an ethical assessment of their impact on animal welfare, education, and conservation. The protocol presented in this study is designed to evaluate such interactions on an integrated level, using a transparent analysis of all the aspects involved, including all the stakeholders and the […]

Exploratory Investigation of Infrared Thermography for Measuring Gorilla Emotional Responses to Interactions with Familiar Humans

Interactions between zoo professionals and animals occur regularly and are believed to be enriching for animals. Little empirical information exists on how animals perceive these interactions, and particularly how the interactions affect the emotional states of animals. Infrared thermography (IRT) has shown some promise in the assessment of emotions in a variety of species, but […]

Orangutans’ Comprehension of Zoo Keepers’ Communicative Signals

Zoological institutions often encourage cooperative interactions between keepers and animals so as to promote animals’ welfare. One useful technique has been conditioning training, whereby animals learn to respond to keepers’ requests, which facilitates a number of, otherwise sensitive, daily routines. As various media have been used to convey keepers’ instructions, the question remains of which […]

Dilemmas for Natural Living Concepts of Zoo Animal Welfare

This ethical discourse specifically deals with dilemmas encountered within zoological institutions, namely for the concept of natural living, and a new term-wilding. It is agreed by some that zoos are not ethically wrong in principle, but there are currently some contradictions and ethical concerns for zoos in practice. Natural living is a complicated concept, facing […]

The Social Rank of Zoo-Housed Japanese Macaques is a Predictor of Visitor-Directed Aggression

The effect that visitors have on the behavior and welfare of animals is a widely-studied topic in zoo animal welfare. Typically, these studies focus on how the presence or activity levels of visitors affect animals. However, for many species, and particularly Primates, social factors, such as social rank, can also have a large impact on […]

Feeding Enrichment in a Captive Pack of European Wolves (Canis Lupus Lupus): Assessing the Effects on Welfare and on a Zoo’s Recreational, Educational and Conservational Role

This study investigated the effects of two feeding enrichment programs on the behaviour of a captive pack of European wolves (Canis lupus lupus) and their correlation with both zoo visitors’ interest towards the exhibit and their overall perception of the species. Behavioural data (exploration, stereotypies, social interactions, activity/inactivity rates) were collected on four male wolves […]

Using Qualitative Behaviour Assessment to Investigate Human-Animal Relationships in Zoo-Housed Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Human-Animal Relationships (HAR) in zoos develop from repeated interactions between animals and their caretakers. HAR have been shown to affect health and welfare in farm animals, but limited zoo-based studies exist. This study investigates the association between the qualitative behaviour assessment (QBA) of emotional expression in giraffes and keeper action score in four types of […]

Minimizing the impact of biologging devices: Using computational fluid dynamics for optimizing tag design and positioning

Biologging devices are used ubiquitously across vertebrate taxa in studies of movement and behavioural ecology to record data from organisms without the need for direct observation. Despite the dramatic increase in the sophistication of this technology, progress in reducing the impact of these devices to animals is less obvious, notwithstanding the implications for animal welfare. […]

Future Directions for Personality Research: Contributing New Insights to the Understanding of Animal Behavior

As part of the European Conference on Behavioral Biology 2018, we organized a symposium entitled, “Animal personality: providing new insights into behavior?” The aims of this symposium were to address current research in the personality field, spanning both behavioral ecology and psychology, to highlight the future directions for this research, and to consider whether differential […]

Effects of handling and short-term captivity: a multi-behaviour approach using red sea urchins, Mesocentrotus franciscanus

Understanding the effects of captivity-induced stress on wild-caught animals after their release back into the wild is critical for the long-term success of relocation and reintroduction programs. To date, most of the research on captivity stress has focused on vertebrates, with far less attention paid to invertebrates. Here, we examine the effect of short-term captivity […]