The Effect of Behind-The-Scenes Encounters and Interactive Presentations on the Welfare of Captive Servals (Leptailurus serval)

The serval (Leptailurus serval) is a small African felid that is well represented in zoos and often serves as an animal ambassador in encounter programs with zoo visitors. The impact on serval welfare in relation to such programs has not been investigated to date, and the aim of this study was to assess short-term welfare […]

Temperament in Captivity, Environmental Enrichment, Flight Ability, and Response to Humans in an Endangered Parrot Species

Temperament assessment is useful in reintroduction programs. Reactivity to humans and flight ability are also important behavioral aspects for captive parrots candidates to reintroduction. The study aimed: a) to evaluate if behavioral responses to environmental enrichment differ as a function of temperament in captive Vinaceous-breasted Amazon parrots (Amazona vinacea) and b) to evaluate if the […]

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 […]

Human-Ape Interactions in a Zoo Setting: Gorillas and Orangutans Modify Their Behavior Depending upon Human Familiarity

Understanding how human presence influences animal behavior, specifically the behavior of nonhuman primates, has important implications for methodology in cognitive and behavioral studies, for our understanding of human-animal relationships and for animal welfare in captive settings. Conducted in the San Diego Zoo, this study partially replicates an existing study on human-animal relationships, which focused on […]

The Effect of Positive Reinforcement Training on an Adult Female Western Lowland Gorilla’s (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) Rate of Abnormal and Aggressive Behavior

Positive reinforcement training (PRT) has become a widely used tool in improving the ease with which husbandry and veterinary procedures are performed for animals under human care. PRT provides positive social interaction, cognitive stimulation, and choice, in addition to desensitization towards potentially stressful situations. As a result, PRT has been used as enrichment to decrease […]

Dog training methods: their use, effectiveness and interaction with behaviour and welfare

Historically, pet dogs were trained using mainly negative reinforcement or punishment, but positive reinforcement using rewards has recently become more popular. The methods used may have different impacts on the dogs’ welfare. We distributed a questionnaire to 364 dog owners in order to examine the relative effectiveness of different training methods and their effects upon […]

Behavioural and physiological assessment of positive and negative emotion in sheep

The assessment of emotional states in animals, particularly positive ones, remains a scientific challenge. We investigated differences in behavioural and physiological measures recorded in sheep, Ovis orientalis aries, during situations likely to coincide with negative, intermediate and positive emotional valence. Reactions of 15 sheep were observed during separation from group members (negative valence), standing in […]

Human-directed contra-aggression training using positive reinforcement with single and multiple trainers for indoor-housed rhesus macaques

The objective of this study was to improve human-animal management relationships by testing the effects of positive reinforcement training (PRT) on reducing human-directed aggression in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Contra-aggression uses a combination of positive reinforcement training techniques designed to actively reduce instances of aggressive behavior. Additionally, this study looked at how much post-training generalization […]

Relationship Between Hyponeophagia and Adrenal Cortex Function in Farmed Foxes

The adrenal cortex function of farmed blue (Alopex lagopus) and silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes) differing in their reaction in the feeding test were assessed. The urine cortisol:creatinine ratio was lower for those animals eating in the feeding test in comparison to those not eating in both species. In addition, eater silver foxes had lower baseline […]

Validation of the Feeding Test as an Index of Fear in Farmed Blue (Alopex lagopus) and Silver Foxes (Vulpes vulpes)

The reliability and validity of the eating behaviour in the presence of man (Feeding test) as an index of fear were assessed in farmed blue (Alopex lagopus) and silver foxes (Vulpes vulpes). Repeatability of the Feeding test was good in both species. No further habituation occurred after the fourth successive test in either species. In […]