Petrulli, C. A. and Beghelli, V. and Spezio, C. and Mattioli, M. and Accorsi, P. A. (2013) Influenza dei visitatori sul comportamento e sui livelli di cortisolo di una colonia di leoni ( ) in cattività. In: Atti X Congresso Nazionale So.F.I.Vet, 8-9 luglio 2013, Taormina (Messina). (Submitted)
Zoological gardens play a fundamental role as regards species conservation’s project and they pay particular attention to studies on improving animal’s well-being, as the maintenance of captivity animals in good physical and psychological conditions. Considering this, the present study wants to evaluate how and how much captivity may influence behavior of wild animals kept in zoological gardens, particularly observing guest’s effect on well-being, using ethological and physiological indicators. The research, realized on a lions colony kept in the safari division of ‘Parco Natura Viva ‘ in Bussolengo (VR, Italy), had the following objectives: (1) to evaluate the influence of vehicles presence and numbers on lions behavior, with particular attention on abnormal behaviors which can be stress related or due to lacking of well-being (i.e. apathy or hyperactivity, enhancement of aggressive interaction between the lions and stereotypies); (2) to evaluate the variation of fecal levels of cortisol metabolites in relation to the flood of guests, so that to determine if and in how much the presence and number of cars can provoke stress on animals.
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