Frustrated Appetitive Foraging Behavior, Stereotypic Pacing, and Fecal Glucocorticoid Levels in Snow Leopards (Uncia uncia) in the Zurich Zoo

This study hypothesized that permanently frustrated, appetitive-foraging behavior caused the stereotypic pacing regularly observed in captive carnivores. Using 2 adult female snow leopards (Uncia uncia), solitarily housed in the Zurich Zoo, the study tested this hypothesis experimentally with a novel feeding method: electronically controlled, time-regulated feeding boxes. The expected result of employing this active foraging […]

Stress-related acoustic communication in the domestic pig (Sus scrofa)


Stress as a state of motivational systems

The complexity and apparent inconsistency in most physiological ‘stress indicators’ has led many scientists to doubt the scientific value of the concept. However, there is clear evidence that the psychological perception of the stressor and the situation modulates the physiological reactions, and psychological concepts such as predictability and controllability are central to contemporary stress research. […]

Animal welfare: Concepts and measurement

The term “welfare” refers to the state of an individual in relation to its environment, and this can be measured. Both failure to cope with the environment and difficulty in coping are indicators of poor welfare. Suffering and poor welfare often occur together, but welfare can be poor without suffering and welfare should not be […]

Measuring zoo animal welfare: theory and practice

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20276.abs The assessment of animal welfare relates to investigations of how animals try to cope with their environment, and how easy or how difficult it is for them to do so. The use of rigorous scientific methods to assess this has grown over the past few decades, and so our understanding of the needs […]

Stereotypies in polar bears

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430100209.abs The spatial and temporal patterns of stereotypies in three captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were analysed. There was considerable variation in the time budgets of the three animals: stereotypies made up 16.0%, 24.4 %, and 76.5 % of the observation time between 8.00 A.M. and 4.00 P.M. Stereotyped walking or swimming bouts were […]

The myth of a simple relation between space and aggression in captive primates

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430080514.abs This paper reviews literature on the relation between captive environments and social behavior, particularly aggressive behavior, in monkeys and apes. The conclusion is that theories of “crowding” and “stress” are too simplistic to account for the observed relation. Instead, it is suggested that environmental effects be investigated from the standpoint of behavioral adjustment. […]

Can’t stop, won’t stop: is stereotypy a reliable animal welfare indicator?

We estimate that stereotypies are currently displayed by over 85 million farm, laboratory and zoo animals worldwide. This paper investigates their reliability as welfare indicators, by surveying studies relating stereotypy to other welfare measures and by analysing the mechanisms underlying this behaviour. Where data exist, most (approximately 68%) situations that cause/increase stereotypies also decrease welfare. […]

Behavioral specificity of non-genomic glucocorticoid effects in rats: Effects on risk assessment in the elevated plus-maze and the open-field

The rapid effects of glucocorticoids on various behaviors suggest that these hormones play a role in rapidly coping with challenging situations. The variety of behaviors affected in different situations raise, however, questions regarding the specificity and roles of glucocorticoids in controlling behavior. To clarify this issue, we assessed the rapid behavioral effects of glucocorticoids in […]

Coping styles in animals- Current status in behavior and stress physiology

This paper summarizes the current views on coping styles as a useful concept in understanding individual adaptive capacity and vulnerability to stress-related disease. Studies in feral populations indicate the existence of a proactive and a reactive coping style. These coping styles seem to play a role in the population ecology of the species. Despite domestication, […]