Three herds of Plains zebras in multi-species pounds in 3 Danish zoos were studied during spring/summer of 1989. Pounds varied greatly in size: Copenhagen Zoo - 0.5 ha, grassless; Loveparken Zoo Givskud - 5 ha, short grass; Knuthenborg Safari Park - 18 ha, long grass. A 10 min scan of activity, and all-occurrence sampling of social behaviours were used. Daily and total activity patterns varied greatly between pounds, and were greatly influenced by local feed management. The amount of drinking was positively correlated with the temperature. Levels of social interactions, both aggressive and non-aggressive, were inversely correlated with size of pound Hierarchies based on 'displacement' were constructed for the herds in Copenhagen and Givskud, but no hierarchy structure was seen in the Knuthenborg herd. Stallions were top ranking followed by mares and yearlings, respectively. Among the mares, age and rank were positively correlated. The number of head threats received for mares were negatively correlated with rank. Allogrooming appeared to have a secondary function as a stress reducer, but not as an appeasement gesture. Behavioural activities of the zebras was similar to that seen in wild populations.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|Author Address||Bodegaardsvej 3, DK-3050, Humleback, Denmark.|
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