Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Short Communication Open Access

Effects of environmental enrichment techniques on stereotypical behaviours of captive Sumatran tigers: A preliminary case study

Diana Gomes, Lynda McSweeney, Mário Santos

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Wild animals are maintained in Zoological facilities for purposes of education, conservation, research, and recreation. Several studies have proven that the surroundings of an animal’s artificial habitat, as well as environmental enrichment techniques, are factors that influence behaviour and have an impact on animals’ welfare. In the present work carried out at Fota Wildlife Park, Cork, Republic of Ireland, we observed and collected information concerning three Sumatran Tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae). The research achievements, registered on an ethogram, seem to demonstrate a link between the enclosure features and the environmental enrichment techniques applied with the stereotypical behaviours directly observed. In fact, the obtained results show that the characteristics of the enclosures were a determining factor on the tiger’s behaviour. The obtained results also depict and highlight the extreme relevance of individual ethos when choosing the environmental enrichment techniques applied in order to reduce stereotypical behaviours observed in the captive tigers.


animal welfare, Panthera tigris sumatrae, stress, Zoo


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