Effect of enrichment on the behavior of Sri Lankan leopard in ZOO Bratislava condition

Authors: Janka Murínová 1   
1 Ústav normálnej a patologickej fyziológie SAV, Bratislava, Slovenská republika   
Year: 2014
Section: Cellular metabolism, physiology, molecular biology and genetics
Abstract No.: 1008
ISBN: 978-80-970712-6-4

Background: In an environment of zoos we often face with the occurrence of problem behavior, which is closely related to the lack of adequate impulses needed to implement the innate patterns of behavior. The presence of environmental enrichment elements can significantly affect the behavior of animals reared in captivity and enrichment is considered as a main tool to solve this problem in the last period.

Aim: The aim of our study was to evaluate the impact of scent and physical enrichment on selected behaviors felines.

Methods: Using the descriptive method of direct observation, we observed a general activity, exploratory behavior, comfort behavior, metabolic behavior, agonistic behavior, territorial behavior, reproduction, social behavior, the acoustic speeches and abnormal behavior of a breeding pair of Sri Lankan leopard in the period without and with environmental enrichment.

Results: Our observations show that enrichment significantly affected the exploratory and comfort behavior of the female studied species. Enrichment does not cause any changes in male behavior. The female leopard had spent more time oriented towards behavioral enrichment compared to male.

Conclusion: Our results can help improve understanding of the effects of enrichment for other types of behavior, as well as can help understand the fact to what extent the effect of enrichment is influenced by species, sex and type of individual enrichment. Since our results may be a thing of particular pairs in concrete terms, it would be useful to monitor a larger number of subjects, to perform single observation repeatedly or to use multiple types of enrichment in studies of a similar nature.