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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effects of physical characteristics of the environment and feeding regime on the behavior of captive felids

Published source details

Lyons J. , Young R.J. & Deag J.M. (1997) The effects of physical characteristics of the environment and feeding regime on the behavior of captive felids. Zoo Biology, 16, 71-83


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Carnivores: Allocate fast days Management of Captive Animals

A replicated, before-and-after study in 1994 of jaguars Panthera onca, leopards P. pardus and snow leopards P. uncia in a zoo in the UK [1] found that felids fed once every three days paced more on non-feeding days than on feeding days. Percentage of total scans spent pacing was higher in non-feeding days (jaguar: 11–18; leopard: 8–18; snow leopard: 8–11) than in feeding days (jaguar: 3; leopard: 4–7; snow leopard: 1–2). Eight felids (two jaguars, three leopards and three snow leopards) were observed using instantaneous scan sampling every 15 minutes during four 1-hour sessions each day (total 560 scans per enclosure). Felids were fed every third day.