A foraging enrichment device wasdesigned and evaluated for the use for geladas (Theropithecus gelada). The main aim of an enrichment device is to encouragenatural behaviours, increase activity, decrease aggression and decreaseabnormal behaviours. Therefore improving the welfare of captive animals andencourage species-specific behaviours. The aim of this project was tounderstand group and individual response to an enrichment device, with particularfocus taken on foraging behaviour, enclosure utilisation and nearest-neighbourrelationships. The subjects were a bachelor group of six geladas. There weresix devices, each a 25Litre plastic water container, with holes in three of thesurfaces and a frame containing turf on the fourth. The devices were filledwith a proportion of the geladas daily feed and hay.
Observations wereconducted under three treatments: Baseline (B), Experimental (E) and a Post-experimentalbaseline (PEB), where the devices were introduced during E. Each treatment hada total of 32 hours observations collected under the scan sampling technique.The results showed that during E, the percentage of time spent provisionedforaging (22.
8 ± 11.2) was greater than B (10.3 ± 8.0, P = 0.017) and PEB (3.7± 3.
9, P < 0.001). There was also a significant increase in non-provisionedforaging during E (52.52 ± 2.54) compared to B (43.919 ± 3.23, P = 0.018),which was attributed to appetitive foraging.
The foraging activity budgets ofthe geladas were considered very similar to their wild counterparts during allthree treatments and greater during the device implementation (attributed tothe captive geladas having more available time to forage than wild geladas). Theenrichment device has also encouraged the geladas to utilise the enclosure moreevenly. Finally the geladas also showed two distinct foraging groups thatremained the same during all three treatments. To conclude, a foragingenrichment device is beneficial to a bachelor group of geladas in captivity andthe presence of the device can simulate similar activity budgets to their wildcounterparts, improving the group’s captive welfare. 2.
Acknowledgements I would like to thank everyone whoassisted in the completion of this project. In particular I would like to thankmy supervisor, Dr Alison Cotton, for her help, encouragement and critiquethroughout this projects entire process. I would also like to thank all thestaff at The Wild Place Project, in particular the animal manager, Will Walker,and his keepers, for allowing and helping me conduct this research. Thanks to DrPaul White for his invaluable statistics advice. Finally, thank you to myparents, Paul Hurley and Lynn Hurley for all the advice they have given me andtheir assistance in building the devices.
3.Introduction BACKGROUND TO STUDYCaptive wild animal speciespsychological and physical needs are of great importance and the maintenance ofthis is a key aim in animal welfare (Young, 2013). Enrichment is designed toencourage natural behaviours, increase activity, decrease aggression anddecrease abnormal behaviours, ensuring good welfare of captive animals (Mobergand Mench, 2000). The UK’s Farm Animal Welfare Council developed the FiveFreedoms in the 1960s in an attempt to define when an animal is experiencing anacceptable level of welfare (Young, 2013). The Five Freedoms include: freedomfrom hunger and thirst; discomfort; pain, injury and disease; fear and distressand freedom to express normal behaviour patterns (Hau and Schapiro, 2003;Young, 2013).
However, The Five Freedoms do not consider other negative effectsthat animals in captivity may experience, such as frustration, anxiety, fear,anger and loneliness (Mellor, 2016). Still, these freedoms have been adopted bypeople working with zoo animals in the UK, along with other welfareconsiderations (DEFRA, 2012). The provision of enrichment for captive animalscan empower the animal to express normal behaviours seen in the wild, thereforefacilitating the improvement of animal welfare in zoos. EnrichmentThere are two main approaches toenrichment. There is the naturalistic approach, which is where an environmentis created that mimics a particular species’ natural environment (Young, 2013).There is also the behavioural engineering approach, where the restoration of ananimal’s natural need for certain behaviours is fulfilled using a device thatcan be operated to receive a reward, often food. The origin of the naturalisticapproach came before the behavioural engineering approach and can be found inthe development of Hamburg Zoo in 1907 (Young, 2013). Behavioural engineeringwas first suggested by Robert Yerkes in 1925, where he suggested devices couldbe installed into a primate enclosure to encourage work and play.
Primate enrichmenthas been studied extensively over the years, initially researched to improvewelfare of laboratory primates (Beaver, 1989; O’Neill et al., 1991). When compared to other animals, primates are moreinclined to continuously select and react to novel stimuli in their natural environment(Boere, 2001). There are five main types of primate enrichment: