The activity budgets of seven captive tigers (Panthera tigris) housed in four zoological gardens (A, B, C, D) were analysed to assess their welfare and to relate it to several variables, including enclosure type, management, and animal history. Behaviours were recorded by instantaneous focal animal sampling at 2-min intervals. Data were collected by five observers using an ethogram listing 26 behaviours adapted from the literature. To process the data, the activity budgets of each tiger and the overall activity budget were constructed. On the basis of previous literature, some of the behaviours, listed in the ethogram, were labelled as indicators of diminished welfare and some were labelled as indicators of enhanced welfare. Statistical analysis was carried out to determine in which zoo the tigers were more prone to exhibit indicators of enhanced welfare and which feature(s) had a major effect on their welfare. Over 195 h of data were collected and 5867 observations were recorded. The tigers in zoo A (OR = 4.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.2–5.3) and zoo C (OR = 1.83, 95% CI 1.4–2.4) were more prone to express indicators of enhanced welfare with respect to zoo D as the reference. Among the variables describing animal peculiarity, daily routine management, and enclosure features, the presence of a water pool with clean water was significantly associated with enhanced welfare (OR = 2.04, 95% CI 1.4–3.04). The data suggested that none of the tigers displayed consistent signs of stress and that all experienced a basic welfare status. An essential feature that helped to enhance good animal welfare was a water pool in the enclosure containing clean water.

Behavioural analysis of captive tigers (Panthera tigris): A water poolmakes the difference

BIOLATTI, Cristina;TARANTOLA, Martina;MAURELLA, CRISTIANA;
2016

Abstract

The activity budgets of seven captive tigers (Panthera tigris) housed in four zoological gardens (A, B, C, D) were analysed to assess their welfare and to relate it to several variables, including enclosure type, management, and animal history. Behaviours were recorded by instantaneous focal animal sampling at 2-min intervals. Data were collected by five observers using an ethogram listing 26 behaviours adapted from the literature. To process the data, the activity budgets of each tiger and the overall activity budget were constructed. On the basis of previous literature, some of the behaviours, listed in the ethogram, were labelled as indicators of diminished welfare and some were labelled as indicators of enhanced welfare. Statistical analysis was carried out to determine in which zoo the tigers were more prone to exhibit indicators of enhanced welfare and which feature(s) had a major effect on their welfare. Over 195 h of data were collected and 5867 observations were recorded. The tigers in zoo A (OR = 4.11, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.2–5.3) and zoo C (OR = 1.83, 95% CI 1.4–2.4) were more prone to express indicators of enhanced welfare with respect to zoo D as the reference. Among the variables describing animal peculiarity, daily routine management, and enclosure features, the presence of a water pool with clean water was significantly associated with enhanced welfare (OR = 2.04, 95% CI 1.4–3.04). The data suggested that none of the tigers displayed consistent signs of stress and that all experienced a basic welfare status. An essential feature that helped to enhance good animal welfare was a water pool in the enclosure containing clean water.
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P. tigris; Zoo; Enhanced welfare; Activity budget; Behavioural analysis
Biolatti, Cristina; Modesto, Paola; Dezzutto, Daniela; Pera, Francesca; Tarantola, Martina; Gennero, Maria Silvia; Maurella, Cristiana; Acutis, Pier Luigi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1554640
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