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Positive reinforcement training for blood collection in grizzly bears ( Ursus arctos horribilis) results in undetectable elevations in serum cortisol levels: a preliminary investigation

By N. M. Joyce-Zuniga, R. C. Newberry, C. T. Robbins, J. V. Ware, H. T. Jansen, O. L. Nelson

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Abstract

Training nonhuman animals in captivity for participation in routine husbandry procedures is believed to produce a lower stress environment compared with undergoing a general anesthetic event for the same procedure. This hypothesis rests largely on anecdotal evidence that the captive subjects appear more relaxed with the trained event. Blood markers of physiological stress responses were evaluated in 4 captive grizzly bears ( Ursus arctos horribilis) who were clicker-trained for blood collection versus 4 bears who were chemically immobilized for blood collection. Serum cortisol and immunoglobulin A (IgA) and plasma beta-endorphin were measured as indicators of responses to stress. Plasma beta-endorphin was not different between the groups. Serum IgA was undetectable in all bears. Serum cortisol was undetectable in all trained bears, whereas chemically immobilized bears had marked cortisol elevations ( p

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 210-215
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2015.1126523
Language English
Author Address Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Washington State University, 100 Grimes Way, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.olnelson@vetmed.wsu.edu
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Bears
  5. Blood
  6. Carnivores
  7. Evaluation
  8. Globulins
  9. Health
  10. Human behavior
  11. Humans
  12. Hydrocortisone
  13. Immobilization
  14. Immunoglobulins
  15. Indicators
  16. Mammals
  17. Markers
  18. Men
  19. peer-reviewed
  20. Primates
  21. Relationships
  22. sampling
  23. training
  24. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed