Developing models for mother–infant behaviour in Black rhinoceros and Reticulated giraffe Diceros bicornis michaeli and Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata at Brookfield Zoo, Illinois

For over a decade the behaviours of mothers and newborn calves of Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis michaeli and Reticulated giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata have been observed at Brookfield Zoo during the critical first few weeks post-partum. Consistent patterns were seen for individuals within species, allowing models of time budgets, including ranges of variability surrounding each […]

Diceros bicornis

A comparative approach to the study of Keeper–Animal Relationships in the zoo

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20289.abs Research on intensively farmed animals over the past 25 years has shown that human-animal interactions, by affecting the animal’s fear of humans, can markedly limit the productivity and welfare of farm animals. This article begins to explore some of the factors that need to be considered to investigate Keeper–Animal Relationships (KARs) in the […]

The feeding of rhinoceros in captivity

Rhinoceros are large herbivores that are adapted for gaining energy from the fermentation of fibrous plant material. In this paper we address issues of oversupplementation of energy (leading to obesity) and minerals (particularly iron in Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis), outline a diet design that relies on forage as the staple component with a reduction in […]

Rhinoceros behaviour: implications for captive management and conservation

All species of rhinoceros are, to varying degrees, threatened with extinction because of poaching, habitat loss, human–rhinoceros conflict, hunting and civil unrest. Clearly the threats facing the five remaining species (Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis, White rhinoceros Ceratotherium simum, Greater onehorned rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis, Javan rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus and Sumatran rhinoceros Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) are anthropogenic. Although […]

Chemical signals of age, sex and identity in black rhinoceros

Olfactory communication may be particularly important to black rhinoceros, Diceros bicornis, because they are solitary living and have comparatively poor eyesight but their populations are structured by inter- and intrasexual relationships. Understanding olfactory functions and processes might achieve better conservation management but their study in rhinoceros remains anecdotal or descriptive. Experimental approaches are required but […]

Technique for venipuncture of the transverse facial vein in the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)

Through the use of operant conditioning, the authors developed a technique to facilitate obtaining blood samples from a black rhinoceros diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy. The technique involved operant conditioning to facilitate venipuncture of the transverse facial vein, at an anatomic landmark on the lateral side of the face ventral to the medial canthus of the […]