Introducing a Semi-Naturalistic Exhibit As Structural Enrichment for Two Brown Bears (Ursus arctos). Does This Ensure Their Captive Well-Being?

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Ana I. Soriano, Conrad Ensenyat, Susana Serrat, Carme Maté
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
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In this study we used the daily activity pattern and use of space as indicators of change in the program of structural enrichment, implemented with 2 subjects of the species Ursus arctos in the Barcelona Zoo. We collected 930 sampling points in each study phase for each of the individuals: The samples were taken in a balanced way at different times of day. We observed a wider range of behavior in the male than the female. With respect to the indicators, we observed statistically significant differences in behavior in both individuals in the 2 study phases. Both individuals showed an increase in vigilance, maintenance, and inactivity when their enclosure was changed. In terms of the subjects’ well-being, we considered the percentage of stereotyped behavior within acceptable limits. The percentage of activity observed in the male was very similar to that of individuals of this species in the wild. In terms of the use of space, we observed homogeneity only in the male during the enrichment program. The 2 individuals responded in different ways to the structural enrichment.


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