Impacts of natural history and exhibit factors on carnivore welfare

To improve the welfare of nonhuman animals under professional care, zoological institutions are continuously utilizing new methods to identify factors that lead to optimal welfare. Comparative methods have historically been used in the field of evolutionary biology but are increasingly being applied in the field of animal welfare. In the current study, data were obtained […]

Demographics of captive De Brazza’s guenons

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430080106.abs Survival and fertility rates of captive De Bràzza’s guenons (Cercopithecus neglectus), based on the 575 known captive animals in 70 zoos and institutions worldwide, were calculated. The results suggest that the high level of infant mortality (males: dx(day 1-yr 1) = 0.73 males; females; dx(day 1-yr 1) = 0.51), low fertility rate (Σ […]

Maternal Effects on Offspring Mortality in Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

The genetics of primate life histories are poorly understood, but quantitative genetic patterns in other mammals suggest phenotypic differences among individuals early in life can be strongly affected by interactions with mothers or other caretakers. I used generalized linear mixed model extensions of complex pedigree quantitative genetic techniques to explore regression coefficients and variance components […]

Providing ‘get-away bunks’ and other enrichments to primiparous adult female mink improves their reproductive productivity

This study investigated whether simple, cheap enrichments – ‘get-away bunks’ (a wire mesh semi-cylinder attached to the cage ceiling) and small manipulable objects (balls and suspended chewing items) – could improve welfare and productivity in nursing mink dams (Neovison vison) in commercial farm conditions in southern Ontario (Canada). Experiment 1 replicated a study conducted the […]

Effects of environmental enrichment and stereotypic behavior on maternal behavior and infant viability in a model carnivore, the American mink (Neovison vison)

In several species, stress compromises maternal behaviors that are important for infant viability (e.g. licking and grooming). Understanding how stress in captivity affects maternal behavior could therefore be beneficial, especially for carnivores in zoos and breeding centers where infant mortality is often high. We used a model carnivore—American mink—to test two hypotheses, namely that maternal […]

Retrospective study of mortality in Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) in the European breeding population between 2000 and 2014

Although the European population of Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) has been managed under the European Endangered Species Program (EEP) since 1990, little is known about the health status of the population. This study was designed to characterize mortality for this population through examination of the studbook and other records on 392 Asiatic lions living […]