Environmental enrichment affects the fear and exploratory responses to novelty of young Amazon parrots

The development of techniques to reduce fear responses of captive animals is important because fear is generally considered an undesirable emotional state that is related to increased risk of injury and decreased biological functioning. We tested the effects of environmental enrichments designed to increase the physical complexity of the cage and to provide opportunities for […]

The influence of olfactory enrichment on the behaviour of captive black-footed cats, Felis nigripes

The value of olfactory enrichment for captive-housed animals is now well recognised. Large cats have been shown to benefit from the introduction of odours to their captive environment, but to date the effect of odour introduction on the behaviour of small cats remains unknown. This study investigated the behaviour of six zoo-housed black-footed cats, Felis […]

Urinary cortisol responses to unusual events in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

This study investigated the urinary cortisol stress response to one known stressor (anaesthesia) and three unusual events hypothesized to result in increases in cortisol (confinement to one half of an enclosure for several days due to a hurricane, an enrichment exercise, and a change in group composition) in young chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Although a cortisol […]

Environmental Enrichment


Gorilla Adaptations to Naturalistic Environments

In the past few decades there have been increased investigations into the effects of captive environments on behavior. Simultaneously, zoological gardens have undergone a revolution in philosophy and design, resulting in a proliferation of “naturalistic” habitats. Complex environments such as these have been found to affect the behavior of captive animals favorably, including increasing reproductive […]

Personality and foraging decisions in fallow deer, Dama dama

Recent studies have examined the ecological and evolutionary bases for variation in animal personality. However, only a few such studies have examined how foraging parameters are influenced by different personality domains. In wild ungulates, the trade-off between the time spent on food intake and antipredator behaviour differs between individuals, but the underlying reason for this […]

Novelty-evoked activity in open field predicts susceptibility to helpless behavior

Learned helplessness in animals has been used to model disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but there is a lack of knowledge concerning which individual behavioral characteristics at baseline can predict helpless behavior after exposure to inescapable stress. The first aim of this study was to determine behavioral predictors of helplessness using […]

Plasma Cortisol Levels of Dogs at a County Animal Shelter

Hennessy, M. B., H. N. Davis, M. T. Williams, C. Mellott and C. W. Douglas. Plasma cortisol levels of dogs in a county animal shelter. Physiol Behav 62(3) 485-490, 1997.–Plasma cortisol levels were examined to assess the stress of dogs in a county animal shelter. Groups of dogs confined in the shelter for their 1st, […]

Effects of environmental enrichment on behavioral responses to novelty, learning, and memory, and the circadian rhythm in cortisol in growing pigs

Previously we showed that pigs reared in an enriched environment had higher baseline salivary cortisol concentrations during the light period than pigs reared under barren conditions. In the present experiment, it was investigated whether these higher baseline salivary cortisol concentrations were a real difference in cortisol concentration or merely represented a phase difference in circadian […]

Rehabilitation of research chimpanzees: Stress and coping after long-term isolation

We report on the permanent retirement of chimpanzees from biomedical research and on resocialization after long-term social isolation. Our aim was to investigate to what extent behavioral and endocrine measures of stress in deprived laboratory chimpanzees can be improved by a more species-typical social life style. Personality in terms of novelty responses, social dominance after […]