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The reduction of stereotypic pacing in tigers (Panthera tigris) by obstructing the view of neighbouring individuals

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Abstract:

Until recently, little attention has been focused on the influence of social interactions and the presence of conspecifics on stereotypic pacing in captive carnivores. This study examined the effect of adding a visual barrier between two tiger (Panthera tigris) exhibits on stereotypic pacing behaviour. Continuous sampling was used to record the duration of time tigers spent pacing and the total number of pacing bouts. The results show a significant decrease in stereotypic pacing for the group of six female tigers after obstruction of the view of neighbouring tigers. These results suggest that the opportunity for tigers to view conspecifics in other exhibits may influence time spent pacing therefore it is felt that the design or renovation of tiger exhibits should take the visibility of neighbouring individuals into account.

Keywords: ANIMAL MANAGEMENT; ANIMAL WELFARE; CONSPECIFICS; EXHIBIT DESIGN; STEREOTYPIC BEHAVIOUR; TIGER

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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