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Influence of social upbringing on the activity pattern of captive lion Panthera leo cubs:Benefits of behavior enrichment

Sibonokuhle NCUBE  Hilton Garikai Taambuka NDAGURWA  
【摘要】:正 The influence of social upbringing on the activity pattern of lion Panthera leo cubs was investigated at three sites. Inthis study, stimulus objects such as sticks, grass, fresh dung (elephant Loxondota africana, zebra Equus quagga, impala Aepycerosmelampus, duiker Sylvicapra grimmia, kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros, giraffe Girajfa camelopardalis and wildebeestConnochaetes taurinus) and cardboard boxes, were utilized in an enrichment program aimed at encouraging active behaviors ofcaptive lion cubs at Antelope Park and Masuwe. Lion cubs at Chipangali were not behaviorally enriched. Activity patterns wererecorded for 10 days at each site. We recorded moving, resting, playing, grooming, visual exploration and display of hunting instincts.We found that behavioral enrichment enhanced the active behaviors of captive lion cubs. Orphan-raised cubs spent moretime moving, playing and displaying hunting instincts than mother-raised cubs, but the time spent grooming was similar acrossareas and suggests that grooming is not influenced by enrichment. Mother-raised cubs spent more time engaged in visual explorationthan orphan-raised cubs and this could be a behavior acquired from mothers or a result of confidence to explore because oftheir presence. Activity patterns were different among time treatments across our three study sites. Based on these findings, wesuggest that lion cubs raised in captivity could benefit from behavioral enrichment to encourage active behaviors essential foreventual reintroduction into the wild .

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