Spatial considerations for captive snakes

Captive environments for snakes commonly involve small enclosures with dimensions that prevent occupants from adopting straight line body postures. In particular, the commercial, hobby, and pet sectors routinely utilize small vivaria and racking systems, although zoos and other facilities also commonly maintain at least some snakes under broadly similar conditions. Captive snakes may be the […]

The Sizes of Elephant Groups in Zoos: Implications for Elephant Welfare

This study examined the distribution of 495 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and 336 African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in 194 zoos, most of which were located in Europe (49.1%) and North America (32.6%). Cows outnumbered bulls 4 to 1 (Loxodonta) and 3 to 1 (Elephas). Groups contained 7 or fewer: mean, 4.28 ( D 5.73). One […]

The Welfare, Housing and Husbandry of Elephants in UK Zoos

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Nutritional and behavioral effects of gorge and fast feeding in captive lions

Nonhuman animals in captivity manifest behaviors and physiological conditions that are not common in the wild. Lions in captivity face problems of obesity, inactivity, and stereotypy. To mediate common problems of captive lions, this study implemented a gorge and fast feeding schedule that better models naturalistic patterns: African lions (Panthera leo) gradually adapted from a […]

Using a Timed Feeder to Increase Activity and Exhibit Usage in Captive Giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis)

The use of enrichment to simulate a natural environment has become increasingly important in the management of captive animals, especially in large exotic ungulates. Indicators of positive welfare in giraffes are behaviors that mimic those displayed in the wild. This study uses a randomly timed feeder in an exhibit for a herd of seven captive […]

The Effect of the Captive Environment on Activity of Captive Cotton-Top Tamarins (Saguinus oedipus)

This study examined captive cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) behavior across 3 different exhibits: (a) a rainforest (30.5 m in diameter), where tamarins free-ranged with other species; (b) a caged outdoor exhibit (5 m in diameter); and (c) a caged enclosure, with access indoors (6 x 9m) and outdoors (2.5 x 2.5 m). The study observed […]

Bioacoustic Monitoring of Aggression in Group-Housed Rhesus Macaques

Many captive primate facilities house rhesus macaques in multimale-multifemale social groups in large enclosures that simulate the natural social and environmental features characteristic of the species, enhancing their reproductive performance as well as their psychological well-being, yet one of the most difficult management problems in socially housed macaques is their propensity for exhibiting spontaneous bouts […]

Influence of environmental humidity and dietary protein on pyramidal growth of carapaces in African spurred tortoises (Geochelone sulcata)

The carapaces of captive-raised tortoises (terrestrial chelonians of the zoological family Testudinidae, often develop pyramidal-shaped osseous growth centrally within the horny plates. With very few exceptions (e.g. Geochelone elegans, Psammobates sp.), this conical growth pattern is considered to be pathologic. This very common defect is believed to be an important indicator of the quality of […]

Serum testosterone in captive male rhinoceros: Effects of season, age, stress, and sociosexual environment

All rhinoceros species are in some degree of endangerment. Understanding the reproductive physiology of rhinoceros species will help in management decisions with both free-ranging and captive populations. In mammalian species studied, testosterone plays a key role in spermatogenesis and libido. Testosterone concentrations, depending on the species, may vary according to age, season, social status, stress […]

Value of captive populations for quantitative genetics research

Evolutionary biologists have usefully applied quantitative genetics methods to the pedigrees of wild animals to understand how natural selection shapes phenotypic diversity in nature. Despite recent reviews on the importance of rapid evolutionary changes for conservation biology and the increasing concerns about potentially adverse effects of adaptation to captivity for wild species, the integration of […]