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The Effect of Extra Food Stimulation on Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) Kept at Kolmården Zoo
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10,5 credits / 16 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Stereotypic behaviors in all animals are more often than not associated with poor welfare. Limited access to perform species specific behaviors is often a reason for the development of stereotypies. Elephants with their great intelligence and need of social contact, coupled with a destructive a behavior are especially difficult to house in captivity. To decrease the occurrence of stereotypic behaviors in elephants, environmental enrichment in form of food enrichment is a good option, since elephants have a great need of foraging. The aim of this study was to investigate if an extra supply of food enrichment could decrease the presence of stereotypic behaviors at night in three Asian elephants at Kolmården zoo. Already existing hay nets attached to wires in the roof were used and connected to a timer. The hay nets were lowered to vision trunk reach between 6:00 am and 6:30 am during five days and the frequencies of selected behaviors were compared with the frequencies of the same behaviors during five preceding baseline nights. The animals were filmed using mounted cameras with IR lights. There was a significant decrease of stereotypic behavior for one of the elephants, but all three showed an increase in foraging whereof the increases were significant for two of them. One of the elephants showed no stereotypic behaviors at all during the study. To keep in mind is that the elephants have different backgrounds and experiences which might have influenced the results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 10 p.
Keyword [en]
Asian elephant, Stereotypic behaviors, Food enrichment, Foraging, Social interactions, Night behaviors, Videotaping
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-69943ISRN: LITH--IFM--EX--11/2516--SEOAI: diva2:433108
Subject / course
2011-05-31, 15:20
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2011-08-09 Created: 2011-08-08 Last updated: 2012-01-05Bibliographically approved

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