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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: 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 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 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.