Commentary: Improving well-being for captive giant pandas: Theoretical and practical issues

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10111.abs Here we present the outcome of a panel discussion from Panda 2000, an International conference held in San Diego, California. The discussion addressed how to use animal motivation theory to develop enrichment programs that will improve physical and psychological well-being for giant pandas in captivity. Wild animals held in captivity too often develop […]

Calves’ motivation for access to two different types of social contact measured by operant conditioning

Calves housed individually have little opportunity for social contact. However, performance of social behaviour may constitute a need in calves. Slopes of demand functions (demand elasticity), generated by operant conditioning techniques, are used to measure behavioural motivation of farm animals. A methodological discussion concerns the way social contact should be provided in operant conditioning studies. […]

Consumer demand under commercial husbandry conditions: practical advice on measuring behavioural priorities in captive animals

In recent years, consumer demand studies have been used to objectively quantify the value that captive animals place on environmental resources. Considerable progress has been made in the development of effective methodologies to assess what resources are valued under controlled experimental conditions, but few of the findings from these studies have been implemented in commercial […]

The Nature and Evolution of Behavioral Needs in Mammals.

Mammals are unique among vertebrates in experiencing a need to carry out behaviours which are not necessary for their immediate survival This poses questions as to the nature of these behavioural needs, how they evolved and their implications for the welfare of mammals in captivity. Evidence is provided to show that mammals carry out daily […]

Diurnal and nocturnal activity budgets of zoo elephants in an outdoor facility

The present study examined the activity budgets of 15 African elephants (1 bull, 6 cows, 2 male juveniles, 2 female juveniles, and 4 male calves) living at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park during the summers of 2010 and 2011. Onsite behavioral data (n = 600 hr) were collected for approximately 12 weeks from 0400 to 0830 and […]