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Influence of visitor presence on the behaviour of captive lion-tailed macaques ( Macaca silenus ) housed in Indian zoos

By Mallapur Avanti, Sinha Anindya, N. Waran

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Abstract

To study the influence of 'visitor presence' on captive lion-tailed macaques, a behavioural study (Short Term Effects) was conducted on 30 individuals housed in 8 zoos across India. The study animals were observed on 'visitor presence' days and on 'visitor absence' days, which were zoo holidays. To record the long-term impact of 'visitor presence' on captive primate behaviour, a study on the Long Term Effects was also conducted. In this study, the behaviour of seven singly-housed individuals was recorded independently when 'on-exhibit' and 'off-exhibit' in enclosures of similar sizes. In the Short Term Effects, visitors influenced 20% more abnormal behaviour and 3% more social, mating and aggressive behaviours. In the study on Long Term Effects, visitors were found to influence a 30% increase in abnormal behaviour. In addition, in this study on Long Term Effects, use of space in the enclosure varied with individuals using the areas of the enclosure with trees, shrubs and water bodies (enriched zone) more when 'off-exhibit' than when 'on-exhibit'. 'Visitor presence' was thus found to influence the behaviour of captive lion-tailed macaques in a negative way suggesting that 'visitor presence' might adversely affect their welfare.

Date 2005
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 94
Issue 3/4
Pages 341-352
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
Language English
Author Address Animal Behaviour and Welfare Group, Division of Veterinary Clinical Studies, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Easter Bush, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK. avantim@yahoo.com
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Tags
  1. Aggression
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Asia
  6. Commonwealth of Nations
  7. Developed countries
  8. Humans
  9. India
  10. Macaques
  11. Mammals
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. Primates
  14. Zoo and captive wild animals
  15. Zoological gardens
  16. Zoos
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  1. peer-reviewed