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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Habituation to environmental enrichment in captive sloth bears—effect on stereotypies

Published source details

Anderson C., Arun A.S. & Jensen P. (2010) Habituation to environmental enrichment in captive sloth bears—effect on stereotypies. Zoo Biology, 29, 705-714


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Carnivores: Present food inside objects (e.g. Boomer balls) Management of Captive Animals

A before-and-after study in 2007 of sloth bears Melursus ursinus in a rescue centre in India found that providing honey-filled logs both intermittently or daily reduced the frequency of stereotypic behaviour and increased exploratory behaviour compared to no enrichment. The amount of time devoted to stereotypic behaviours was lower (intermittent: 22%; daily: 22%) and exploratory behaviours were higher (intermittent: 21%; daily: 17.5%) than without honey filled logs (stereotypic: 32.5%: explorative: 14.1%). Fourteen bears were fed three times daily which included porridge and mixed scattered fruit. Behaviour was recorded using instantaneous scan sampling with two minute intervals. Baseline data were collected for ten days before treatment. Enrichment regime included logs which could hold up to 200 g of honey. Two conditions were studied: 1) logs were introduced for five days in a row; 2) logs were introduced on days one, three and five. Behaviour was monitored between 15:00 h and 17:30 h on all five days of a treatment period, behaviour was monitored for another 6-10 days.