The influence of welfare and bonds with animals on the job satisfaction of felid keepers in North America

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Annabel DeSmet, Brian Ogle
Zoo Biology
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The current study set out to examine the perceptions of felid welfare in zoos and elucidate the factors that influence an individual animal care professional’s acceptance and recognition of welfare. A total of 121 felid keepers employed in an Association of Zoos & Aquariums facility were included in analysis. Results demonstrate job satisfaction is directly linked to access to training on welfare topics. The relationship between job satisfaction and the fulfillment of the Five Freedoms is positively correlated. Additionally, overall job satisfaction does not appear to influence the bond with felids, but it does with other zoo animals. Those with lower reported job satisfaction demonstrate an overall lower bond with nonfelids, where this not observed in felids. Participants in this study demonstrate the direct connection between job satisfaction and perceived fulfillment of the Five Freedoms. Participants who were provided access to training and information on animal welfare often demonstrated a higher job satisfaction, more positive perception of their employer, and overall view of zoos meeting the Five Freedoms with captive felids.


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