Effects of Regulating Visitor Viewing Proximity and the Intensity of Visitor Behaviour on Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) Behaviour and Welfare

We examined the effects of regulating the viewing proximity of visitors and the intensity of visitor behaviour on behaviours indicative of fear and stress physiology of 15 zoo-housed little penguins (Eudyptula minor). A 2 × 2 factorial fully randomised design was used to examine the effectsofregulating: (1)the viewing proximity of visitors to enclosure ,‘normal viewing […]

Proceedings of The Fifth Annual Symposium on Zoo Research


Evidence that zoo visitors influence HPA activity in spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyii rufiventris)

There has been conflicting evidence about the impact of visitors on zoo animals. The present study was designed to increase understanding of visitor effect by assessing the relationship between visitor numbers and activity in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. An enzyme-immunoassay was successfully developed and validated to quantify urinary cortisol in spider monkeys. The physiological impact […]

Visitor behavior in zoos: A review

Visitors are integral components of zoological parks and their importance has led to a research area devoted to understanding the people-zoo relationship. This paper reviews, and provides a point of entry into, the literature relating to visitor research in zoos. The field emerged relatively recently and is diverse and interdisciplinary (it shares common ground with […]

Effect of felid activity on zoo visitor interest

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10115.abs The extent to which the presence of zoo visitors influences animal behavior, and the ways in which animal activity influences visitor interest and perception, are of great interest to zoological parks. Visitors have been variously characterized as being enriching for zoo animals, as being stressors, and generally as influencing behavior in measurable ways. […]

Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) birth patterns and human presence in zoological settings

In response to work demonstrating a negative correlation between human staff activity and parturition in laboratory-managed primates, this study examined the distribution of 231 captive chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) births that occurred in accredited American zoological institutions by the day of the week on which the birth was discovered. We hypothesized that if chimpanzee parturition patterns […]

A Case Study: The Effect of Visitors on Two Captive Pumas With Respect to the Time of the Day

This study analyzed the effects of noise levels and number of visitors on the behaviors of a mother puma and her daughter in a zoo environment with respect to the time of day. The study monitored visitation (noise and number) over two 1-week periods (4 weeks between periods) and frequency of various puma behaviors (videorecorded). […]

Siamangs (Hylobates syndactylus) and White-Cheeked Gibbons (Hylobates leucogenys) Show Few Behavioral Differences Related to Zoo Attendance

The effect of visitors on behavior and welfare of nonhuman animals in the zoo has been an active research topic during the last few decades. Although research has variously shown negative or positive impacts of zoo visitors on animals in captivity, previous primate research at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® suggests the importance of visual barriers in […]

The visitor effect in petting zoo-housed animals: Aversive or enriching?

Two studies were carried out on the effect of visitors on mixed-breed goats, llama, and Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs housed in a petting zoo display within a safari park. In the first study we investigated the effect of the presence and density of visitors on the animals’ behaviour and in the second, the effect of animal […]

Effects of visual contact with zoo visitors on black-capped capuchin welfare

Previous research has suggested that the presence of zoo visitors may be stressful for various primate species, and visual contact with visitors may be the sensory stimuli that mediate visitor effects. We studied a group of black-capped capuchins, Cebus apella, in a controlled experiment, randomly imposing two treatments: customised one-way vision screens on the exhibit […]