There is increasing evidence that in some circumstances, zoo visitors may be aversive stimuli to nonhuman animals housed in zoos. Yet, most previous research has focused on primates with little attention given to numerous other species who are housed in zoos. The focus animal of this project was the cockatoo, a species who has received minimal attention in zoo-based research. Furthermore, although the influence of the zoo setting has become increasingly important in visitor effect studies, this is the 1st study to quantify the effect of activity at a children's playground on zoo animals. There was an investigation on the effect of a zoo playground on the behavior of citron-crested and Moluccan cockatoos ( Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata and Cacatua moluccensis), as well as the effect of children standing in front of the birds' aviaries. The results showed that in some circumstances, the Moluccan cockatoos retreated from visitors, while the citron-crested cockatoos did not retreat from visitors and became more social in the presence of visitors. These findings highlight the importance of careful selection of species and individual animals to be housed near zoo playgrounds.
|Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
|Department of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College, Dublin, Irish Republic.email@example.com
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