Action: Carnivores: Provide food during visitor experiences
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- No evidence was captured for the effects of feeding during visitor experiences on captive carnivores.
'No evidence' for an action means we have not yet found any studies that directly and quantitatively tested this action during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore we have been unable to assess whether or not the action is effective or has any harmful impacts. Please get in touch if you know of such a study for this action.
Visitor experiences are increasingly popular events in zoos and give visitors the opportunity to get closer to animals in ways that would not normally be possible. These events often involve feeding the animals, including large carnivores. This may have a positive or negative affect on the health and welfare of the animal. For example, getting closer to the animals allows better health observations and positively reinforces the animals to remain relaxed around humans. However, excessive feeding can cause health problems and it is not always easy to monitor food intake, especially for animals living in social groups. Some species or individuals of the species may also find the close proximity to unfamiliar humans stressful. Also see background of the action "Alter feeding schedule according to visitor activity".