Study

Comparison of several types of enrichment for captive felids

  • Published source details Skibiel A.L., Trevino H.S. & Naugher K. (2007) Comparison of several types of enrichment for captive felids. Zoo Biology, 26, 371-381

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Carnivores: Provide bones, hides or partial carcasses

Action Link
Management of Captive Animals

Carnivores: Present food frozen in ice

Action Link
Management of Captive Animals
  1. Carnivores: Provide bones, hides or partial carcasses

    A replicated, before-and-after study in 2007 of tigers Panthera tigris, ocelots Leopardus pardalis, cougars Puma concolor, cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus and lions Panthera leo in a zoo in the USA found that when provisioned with bones active behaviours increased compared to no added enrichment. Active behaviours, excluding pacing, increased when provisioned with bones (31%) compared to no added enrichment (16%). This study was conducted on fourteen felids. Baseline data was collected before the investigation and two weeks of no enrichment occurred between each treatment. Horse knuckle or shank bone were provided daily for seven consecutive days (four days for tigers). Each cat was observed for one 30-minute session/day for ten days over a period of four weeks prior to enrichment and for two 30-minute session/day over three days during treatments using instantaneous scan sampling.

  2. Carnivores: Present food frozen in ice

     A replicated, before-and-after study in 2007 of tigers Panthera tigris, ocelots Leopardus pardalis, jaguars Panthera onca, cougars Puma concolor, cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus and lions Panthera leo in a zoo in the USA found that when provisioned with fish frozen in ice, active behaviours increased and stereotypic behaviours decreased compared to no enrichment. Active behaviours (51%) increased and stereotypic behaviours decreased (4%) when provided with fish frozen in ice compared to the baseline (active: 16%; stereotypic: 27%). Active behaviours also increased with the provision of bones and scattered spices and stereotypic behaviours decreased with the provision of scattered spices. The study was conducted on fourteen cats. Baseline data was collected before the investigation and two weeks of no enrichment occurred between each treatment. The three treatments included: 1) horse knuckle or shank bone daily for seven consecutive days (tiger was four days and jaguar not given); 2) Trout in a frozen soda bottle, daily for eight consecutive days (tiger was five days); 3) 30 ml of cinnamon, chili powder and cumin were sprinkled around the enclosure daily for nine consecutive days (tiger was five days). Each felid was observed for one 30-minute session/day for ten days over a period of four weeks prior to enrichment and for two 30-minute session/day over three days during treatments using instantaneous scan sampling.

Output references

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, terrestrial mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 17

Go to the CE Journal

Subscribe to our newsletter

Please add your details if you are interested in receiving updates from the Conservation Evidence team about new papers, synopses and opportunities.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust