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Type of publication: Diploma Thesis
Type of document:

Year: 2015

Authors: Kammerhuber, Alexandra

Title: Effects of feeding enrichment on behavior in giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) in captivity.

Other title: Auswirkungen von Feeding Enrichment auf die Verhaltensmuster von Giraffen (Giraffa camelopardalis) in Menschenobhut während der Besucheröffnungszeiten

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 54.


Walzer Christian

Huber Ludwig

Vetmed Research Units:
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Conservation Medicine

Graduation date: 30.04.15

Almost 80% of zoo-housed giraffe including the three adult giraffes of Zoo Vienna, Austria were reported to perform at least one type of stereotypy, with and being the most common (Fernandez, et al. 2008). Stereotypies are described as stress linked behavior patterns that do not occur in the wild at all, that are performed in inappropriate high rates in captivity (Broom und Johnson 1993) and that they are assumed to indicate poor animal welfare (Broom 1991). As stereotypic in giraffe can be reduced by increasing the amount of tongue manipulation for food obtaining (Fernandez, et al. 2008), enrichment devices for giraffes were established during a planned redevelopment of the giraffe ́s enclosure of Zoo Vienna.The survey was divided into three phases: one observation period before placement of enrichment devices, an adaptation phase and one observation phase after adaption to the enrichment devices. Stereotypies and physiological behavior including factors that could influence the behavior patterns of giraffes (position, weather, rainfall, temperature, visitor numbers) using scan sampling method were recorded. After a baseline period, one enrichment device for each giraffe was placed and filled with food once a day. After the second observation period data of the two phases before and after placement was examined for differences. We hypothesized that behavior patterns of giraffe during baseline period differed from those after providing feeding enrichment devices and that the frequency of stereotypic would be decreased. A decrease in frequency after enrichment placement was the only significant result. No significant differences before and after providing the devices were found concerning , , , and behavior frequency. Stereotypical behavior could not be decreased significantly by providing enrichment devices for an increase of tongue manipulation in this study.

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