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enrichment necessary to prevent boredom in captive animals according recent study

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Moos, 16 Nov 2012.

  1. Moos

    Moos Member

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  2. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this. From your link I went to the original paper at PLOS ONE: Environmental Enrichment Reduces Signs of Boredom in Caged Mink - this is open access.
    This study provides evidence for something that is bleedin' obvious to zoo visitors: but it is valuable to collect such evidence, because there are many examples in science where the bleedin' obvious has turned out to be wrong. It is also useful to try to measure the effect of enrichment so that different methods can be compared and better methods devised.

    Alan
     
  3. Moos

    Moos Member

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    Absolutely true! More or less the reason that I thought it might be of interest.

    Moos
     
  4. Taisha

    Taisha Well-Known Member

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    If I were the zoo director of a well known zoo, considering enrichment as rubbish that would only spoil the esthetical value of my exhibition, how much impact could this study have on me?

    If I were a zoo director anywhere, with respect and empathy for my animals, would I need this study?
     
  5. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    A good zoo director would ask an enthusiastic staff member to see if any of their ideas could help to improve the zoo's practices.

    A very good zoo director would ask a team to work on it and devise ideas to involve all staff and visitors.

    An excellent zoo director would have taken all these steps already.

    Alan
     
  6. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    First off, all zoo directors should be encouraging enrichment at their zoos. A fat, bored animal is nothing anyone wants to see.

    Second, it might be a challenge for some zoos depending on costs and what species is bored. Some more poor zoos may not be able to keep all of their animals satisfied. Keeping an animal enriched can be as simple as having a naturalistic exhibit for some animals but may be extemely complicated for others. Something like a mouse might just need an interesting, natural exhibit with places to run around and hid (something most zoo exhibit have). A gorilla, however, needs lots of room, climbing structures, mind games, physical games, and would need hidden food for it to find (not to mention a social group). Big cats would need the same kind of enrichment. This leads into the problem people have with having extremely intelligent animals in captivity like Chimpanzees, cetaceans, and elephants.