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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Carnivores: Allocate fast days Management of Captive Animals

Key messages

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  • One replicated, before-and-after study in the UK found that large felids fed once every three days paced more frequently on non-feeding days.

Supporting evidence from individual studies


A replicated, before-and-after study in 1994 of jaguars Panthera onca, leopards P. pardus and snow leopards P. uncia in a zoo in the UK [1] found that felids fed once every three days paced more on non-feeding days than on feeding days. Percentage of total scans spent pacing was higher in non-feeding days (jaguar: 11–18; leopard: 8–18; snow leopard: 8–11) than in feeding days (jaguar: 3; leopard: 4–7; snow leopard: 1–2). Eight felids (two jaguars, three leopards and three snow leopards) were observed using instantaneous scan sampling every 15 minutes during four 1-hour sessions each day (total 560 scans per enclosure). Felids were fed every third day.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Jonas, C.S., Timbrell, L.L., Young, F., Petrovan, S.O., Bowkett, A.E. & Smith, R.K. (2019) Management of Captive Animals. Pages 539-567 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2019. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.