Zoo Closure Does Not Affect Behavior and Activity Patterns of Palawan Binturong (Arctictis binturong whitei)
(Finch et al., 2022)
Is the behaviour of zoo-housed binturongs affected by zoo closures? A paper in JZBG investigated:
✔ 24-hour behavioural monitoring via CCTV system;
✔ Time budget revealed crepuscular activity (natural in the species);
✔ No differences between periods in den use, vigilance or travel behaviors;
✔ Findings suggest neutral visitor effects on the species and highlights the advantages of investing in equipment for remote behavioural monitoring.
Comparing Space Use and Fecal Glucocorticoid Concentrations during and after the COVID-19 Closure to Investigate Visitor Effects in Multiple Species
(Edes et al., 2022)
A study in JZBG investigated the effects of COVID-19 closures on the space use & glucocorticoid levels of multiple species:
✔ Glucocorticoid levels were not different between closure & reopening for any bears & were temporarily elevated in only two bantengs;
✔ After reopening: bantengs spent more time near visitors, polar bears spent more time near viewing areas & grizzly bears spent more time in outdoor area rather than the den;
✔ Gorillas: spent less time near visitors initially when zoo reopened, but effect disappeared with time;
✔ In general, results suggest neutral to positive visitor effects on these animals.
The influence of welfare and bonds with animals on the job satisfaction of felid keepers in North America
(DeSmet & Ogle, 2022)
A study in Zoo Biology investigated the link between job satisfaction in zoo felid keepers, their bonds with animals & animal welfare:
✔ 121 felid keepers from AZA-accredited institutions;
✔ Direct link between job satisfaction & access to animal welfare training;
✔ Correlation between job satisfaction and fulfillment of the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare;
✔ Lower job satisfaction resulted in lower bond with nonfelids - but no link observed with felids...
Professional primate keepers and online primate imagery: an assessment of knowledge and attitudes (Daniels et al., 2021)
New study in JZAR assessed primate keeper knowledge & attitudes towards sharing potentially-detrimental images online of themselves & primates (which the IUCN Primate Specialist Group Section for Human Primate Interactions advises against):
✔Of the 421 primate keepers that completed the questionnaire, over half (56%) reported to share such images;
✔Of the 128 images surveyed under #primatekeeper, 64% were of situations previously shown to be detrimental to primate conservation;
✔The majority of keepers were not aware of the IUCN PSG SHPI or their guidelines regarding the sharing of images.
Furred and feathered friends: How attached are zookeepers to the animals in their care?(Melfi et al., 2021)
A study in Zoo Biology investigated Keeper-Animal Relationships (KAR) in 187 zoo keepers in 19 institutions:
✔ Zoo Keepers reported higher attachment to their pets than the zoo animals in their care;
✔ No differences between zoo species;
✔ Female keepers reported higher attachments to zoo animals than male keepers;
✔ Differences between institutions - "zoo culture" seems to influence KAR.
✔ Time spent with animals also significantly predicted KAR;
Impacts of COVID-19 on Animals in Zoos: A Longitudinal Multi-Species Analysis (Williams et al., 2020)
A paper in JZBG sought to investigate the impacts of zoo closures and re-openings (due to COVID-19) on the behaviour of several zoo-housed species:
✔ Variable behavioural changes across species;
✔ Most changes were non-significant;
✔ Grevy's zebras: > time in comfort behaviours & in public viewing-areas during closures;
✔ Chinese goral: > environmental interactions during closures;
✔ Some species may take longer to re-habituate to visitors.
Photo credit: RZSS Edinburgh Zoo
The visitor effect in zoo-housed apes: the variable effect on behaviour of visitor number and noise (Hashmi & Sullivan, 2020)
The visitor effects on zoo-housed apes (gorillas, chimpanzees and gibbons) were investigated in a study in JZAR:
✔ Noise levels increased with visitor numbers;
✔ Some behavioural changes suggested a potential negative effect on welfare;
✔ Intra- and inter-specific differences in reactions to the public;
✔ The visitor effect is complex and influenced by multiple factors.
Photo credit: Blackpool Zoo
© Maryland Zoo