CZAAWE Resource Article

Factors influencing the behaviour and welfare of captive lion-tailed macaques in Indian zoos
Publication Type 
Journal Article
Year of publication 
Applied Animal Behaviour Science
A behavioural study was conducted on 47 lion-tailed macaques housed in 13 zoos across India. An ethogram was constructed and behavioural observations conducted using qualitative sampling ad libitum, focal animal sampling and instantaneous scans. Sampling was conducted only during the day when visitors were present at the macaque enclosures. Stereotypic pacing was the most commonly exhibited behaviour. Abnormal behaviours were only exhibited by individuals that were confiscated from private owners and those that were born in zoos but never by animals caught from the wild. Active foraging behaviours, in turn, were influenced by an individual's gender and enclosure complexity. Female macaques autogroomed and lip-smacked more frequently than males, while individuals housed in groups initiated relatively more bouts of allogrooming than those housed in pairs. In general, the observed influence of environmental factors and social deprivation on the development of behavioural pathologies in lion-tailed macaques in Indian zoos emphasise the need for improving the current husbandry protocols and management practices for the improved welfare of these animals.