Monitoring the behavior and habitat use of animals to enhance welfare using the ZooMonitor app

Regular monitoring of the behavior, habitat use, and appearance of animals can provide valuable insight into their welfare. These ongoing data can help identify meaningful trends that can be acted upon to enhance welfare, and potentially reveal individual preferences and patterns that can facilitate care tailored to the individual. To provide a low cost, flexible, […]

Deflighting zoo birds and its welfare considerations

For over a century the practice of deflighting has taken place in zoological collections in order to ensure birds remain in open-topped enclosures. Over time, efforts have been made to improve or develop new (surgical) techniques, reduce risk of complications during deflighting and minimise stress and pain during the procedure. However, increased public interest in […]

Influence of male presence on female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) behaviour in captivity

The maintenance of natural behaviour in captivity is relevant for optimizing animal welfare and reproductive efficiency. In captivity, few studies have evaluated the male´s influence on the behaviour of Asian females’ elephants (Elephas maximus). Therefore, we investigated foraging, standing, elimination, vocalization, courtship, mating and stereotypic behaviours in four female Asian elephants after the recent introduction […]

Potential Impact of Construction Noise on Selected Zoo Animals

In anticipation of a major construction project in an urban New Zealand zoo, a study was initiated to assess the response to construction noise of selected animal species (elephant, giraffe, emu and alligator) previously observed to be sensitive to this kind of noise. The overall aim was to detect any signs of aversive responses to […]

Feeding Enrichment in a Captive Pack of European Wolves (Canis Lupus Lupus): Assessing the Effects on Welfare and on a Zoo’s Recreational, Educational and Conservational Role

This study investigated the effects of two feeding enrichment programs on the behaviour of a captive pack of European wolves (Canis lupus lupus) and their correlation with both zoo visitors’ interest towards the exhibit and their overall perception of the species. Behavioural data (exploration, stereotypies, social interactions, activity/inactivity rates) were collected on four male wolves […]

Using Farm Animal Welfare Protocols as a Base to Assess the Welfare of Wild Animals in Captivity-Case Study: Dorcas Gazelles (Gazella dorcas)

There is a lack of protocols specifically developed for the assessment of welfare of wild animals in captivity, even when it is known that providing good standards of welfare is important. The aim of this study was the development and the application of a protocol for the assessment of welfare in captive dorcas gazelles. The […]

Assessing the Psychological Priorities for Optimising Captive Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) Welfare

The welfare status of elephants under human care has been a contentious issue for two decades or more in numerous western countries. Much effort has gone into assessing the welfare of captive elephants at individual and population levels with little consensus having been achieved in relation to both the welfare requirements of captive elephants, or […]

Using Thermal Imaging to Monitor Body Temperature of Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in A Zoo Setting

Non-invasive techniques can be applied for monitoring the physiology and behaviour of wildlife in Zoos to improve management and welfare. Thermal imaging technology has been used as a non-invasive technique to measure the body temperature of various domesticated and wildlife species. In this study, we evaluated the application of thermal imaging to measure the body […]

Personality in Zoo-Hatched Blanding’s Turtles Affects Behavior and Survival After Reintroduction Into the Wild

Reintroduction programs in which captive-bred or reared animals are released into natural habitats are considered a key approach for conservation; however, success rates have generally been low. Accounting for factors that enable individual animals to have a greater chance of survival can not only improve overall conservation outcomes but can also impact the welfare of […]

Selecting and Testing Environmental Enrichment in Lemurs

Environmental enrichment has become a standard tool for improving the welfare of animals in zoos. Two critical steps in the manipulation of environmental enrichment are (1) selection of objects/procedures and (2) evaluation of their effects. In this study, we examined the selection and evaluation of feeding enrichment for four species of lemur. Experiment 1 used […]