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The effect of zoo visitors on the behaviour and faecal cortisol of the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi)

By María Pifarré, Ricardo Valdez, Carlos González-Rebeles, Carlos Vázquez, Marta Romano, Francisco Galindo

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Abstract

The effect of zoo visitors on the behaviour and physiological responses of the Mexican wolf has not been documented but is worthy of investigation since it is a critically endangered native species and most of the population live in zoos. The effect of the number of visitors was assessed in 12 wolves (five males and seven females) in three zoos of central Mexico. Each wolf was observed for a total of 72h on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays (6h/day) during a three-week period. Scan sampling was used to obtain individual time budgets. A faecal sample was collected on the following morning of each observation day from 10 wolves to determine cortisol level (RIA). A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed that there was an effect of day on the proportion of time lying (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 136
Issue 1
Pages 57-62
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.11.015
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Tags
  1. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  2. Conservation
  3. Feces
  4. Wolves