Enclosure design and the use of enclosure space influence the activity budget of captive leopards. The study laid out in grids all enclosures on the base map and segregated these grids into 4 zones. Every 5 min, the study recorded the proportion of time spent in these zones with the leopards' behaviour. Captive leopards most frequently used the "edge" zone. Almost all leopards used the edge zone for stereotypic pacing, the "back" zone for resting, and the "other" zone for activity. The study positively correlated the proportion of time spent in the "enriched" zone with activity levels exhibited by leopards housed in some enclosures and with resting in others. Thus, the study segregated structural objects in the enriched zone into activity-related features (e.g., logs) and rest-related features (e.g., trees and sleeping platforms). Compared with individuals housed in barren enclosures, leopards housed in structurally enriched on-exhibit enclosures exhibited higher levels of activity. Enclosure design was found to be an important factor influencing the welfare of leopards in captivity.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Wildlife Institute of India, Bangalore, India.firstname.lastname@example.org|
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