Retreat space and human visitor density moderate undesirable behavior in petting zoo animals

This study focused on the relationship between nonhuman animal behavior and envi-ronment- specifically, between the undesirable behavior exhibited by domestic pet-ting zoo animals in the presence of humans and the spatial design of the petting zoo environment. A spatial feature of a petting zoo referred to as a retreat space was ma-nipulated so that it […]

Why Zoos and Aquariums Matter: Assessing the impact of a visit to a zoo or aquarium


The captive audience: the educative influence of zoos on their visitors in India

A questionnaire survey was conducted to assess the educative influence of zoo visits on their visitors at three Indian zoos. Although 300 questionnaires were completed at each site, 150 questionnaires each for ‘zoo visitors’ and the ‘general public’, only 863 (96%) were used in the analysis because the others were incomplete. A significantly higher number […]

A preliminary assessment of how zoo visitors evaluate animal welfare according to enclosure style and the expression of behavior

Visitors to zoos make judgements about animal welfare on the basis of what they see during their visit. There has been a considerable amount of research and debate surrounding the use of enclosure style and/or animal behavior to act as indicators of animal welfare. There are assumptions, supported by some studies but contradicted by others, […]

Technology at the Zoo: The Influence of a Touchscreen Computer on Orangutans and Zoo Visitors

A computer-controlled touchscreen apparatus (hereafter referred to as “touchscreen”) in the orangutan exhibit at Zoo Atlanta provides enrichment to the animals and allows cognitive research to take place on exhibit. This study investigated the impact of the touchscreen on orangutan behavior and visibility, as well as its impact on zoo visitors. Despite previous research suggesting […]

Postoccupancy evaluations in zoological settings

A postoccupancy evaluation (POE) is a systematic assessment performed to examine the effectiveness of the built environment after occupation. Although POEs have been mainly used to examine the effectiveness of built environments for human usage, they can and should be adapted for use in zoological settings. Zoological exhibits have evolved from when hygiene concerns ruled […]

Quality vs. quantity: Assessing the visibility of the jaguars housed at Chester Zoo, UK

To fulfill an educational or visitor-related role in the zoo’s collection, a species needs to be visible to the visiting public. However, this may not always be achievable for animals housed in naturalistic enclosures, particularly species which are highly camouflaged and have an elusive nature, such as jaguars. Four jaguars housed at Chester Zoo (UK) […]