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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The effect of a moving bait on the behaviour of captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

Published source details

Williams B.G., Waran N.K., Carruthers J. & Young R.J. (1996) The effect of a moving bait on the behaviour of captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). Animal Welfare, 5, 271-281


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

Carnivores: Provide devices to simulate live prey, including sounds, lures, pulleys and bungees Management of Captive Animals

A small before-and-after study in 1996 on cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in a zoo in the UK found that when a whole rabbit was presented on a pulley, behavioural diversity, time spent visible to the observer, and frequency of sprinting behaviour increased and feeding and affiliation behaviours decreased compared to feeding without the pulley. Behavioural diversity (1.74 Shannon Index), time visible (5%) and frequency of sprinting (data not reported) all increased and feeding (8%) and affiliation (26%) behaviours decreased compared to baseline data (behavioural diversity: 1.49 Shannon Index; time visible: 1%; feeding: 11%; affiliation: 24%). Two cheetahs housed together were fed one whole rabbit each once daily. Instantaneous focal sampling occurred at 30 second intervals and was undertaken one hour before, 20 minutes during cleaning and feeding and one hour after cleaning had finished. During the treatment, a whole rabbit was attached to the wire of the pulley system which moved around the enclosure on release. Baseline data was collected for ten days before the treatment, ten days during and five days post treatment. Cheetahs were trained for two weeks on chase and capture of moving bait before the study.