Environmental factors and patterns of behaviour in zoo-housed Sumatran tigers, Panthera tigris sumatrae

Kimberley Jayne

Abstract


This study investigated how increased environmental predictability in captivity can impact upon animal behaviour. ‘Busyness’ was piloted as a method of measuring activity in relation to environmental factors and observations were conducted on the behaviour of 2 zoo-housed Sumatran tigers, Panthera tigris sumatrae. Graphical analysis revealed the tigers to show increased Busyness leading up to the time they were taken off-show, possibly indicating anticipation of this event. Both animals displayed stereotyped pacing within specific enclosure sections. The female tiger showed increased pacing leading up to the time she was taken off-show, whereas the male showed the opposite. Suggestions were made to explain differences in behaviour in relation to environmental events and personal history and proposals for future research using Busyness.

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ISSN 1754-2383 [Online] ©University of Plymouth