Feeding enrichment and stereotypic behavior in spectacled bears

  • Published source details Fischbacher M. & Schmid H. (1999) Feeding enrichment and stereotypic behavior in spectacled bears. Zoo Biology, 18, 363-371.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Carnivores: Present food inside objects (e.g. Boomer balls)

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

    A small before-and-after study in 1994 of spectacled bears Tremarctos ornatus in a zoo in Germany found that providing multiple feeding enrichments simultaneously, including logs filled with honey and raisins, increased the time bears spent foraging in the mornings compared to when the bears were fed conventionally, without enrichment. Using food as enrichment increased the time bears spent foraging in the morning (average number of scans: 24) compared to conventional feeding (10.6). There were no significant differences at other times of day. Feeding routine for three bears was switched weekly between an enriched routine, which included food holes, honey inside tree cavities and logs filled with raisins, and a conventional routine consisting of fruit, vegetables, bread and pellets fed twice daily. Behavioural observations were performed four days per week for three hours per day using instantaneous scan sampling, which started after they entered the exhibit in the morning for a total of 114 observational hours. Three 60 minute observation periods were carried out daily: between 08:30 h and 09:45 h, before noon, and early afternoon.

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