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Lag, Nanna, 2017. Foderberikning till kängurudjur på Furuviksparken. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



Many zoos around the world are held to an increasingly higher standard for animal welfare. It has become evident that people want animals not only to be protected from suffering but thrive in captivity and have all their needs met, both physically and mentally. Environmental and food-based enrichments can be a great help in achieving this.
The goal with this study was to examine if food-based enrichments would be something that two species of macropods interacted with and to see if it could be considered to prolong the feeding time, as feeding and searching for food takes up a lot of these animals’ time in the wild. The aim was also to see if aggressive behaviors were to be found among the animals at feeding time and to examine the exact nature of these aggressions.

Macropods are native to Australia but are now common in zoos and zoological gardens all over the world. Two of the more common species to keep in captivity are the ones featured in this study; Western grey kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus) and red-necked or Bennet’s wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus). Few studies have been conducted on these species in captivity as they are regarded by many as easy animals to keep and they do not seem prone to the more common types of stereotypic behaviour.

In this study, three food-based enrichments were tested on 8 kangaroos and 16 wallabies that lived together in a mixed-species enclosure. Each enrichment was tested on four consecutive days and a note was made on 1, how many animals of both species were touching the enrichment, 2, how many animals of both species were inside a 2-meter radius of the enrichment and 3, what aggressive behaviors were shown and what species was involved, meaning who was the agitator and who was the receiver of aggressive behavior. The study shows that both species used or went near all three enrichments. One of the enrichments, the geen Slow Feeder, was the enrichment that the highest number of animals of both species interacted with. It also had the lowest number of aggression relative to the number of animals that interacted with it. The wallabies tended to show more aggressive behaviors toward each other as well as toward the kangaroos. The kangaroos on the other hand showed very little inter-species aggression.

Even though few enrichments were tested, and few animals were involved in this study it could still be used as a basis for further studies of enrichment-options for macropods in captivity.

Main title:Foderberikning till kängurudjur på Furuviksparken
Authors:Lag, Nanna
Supervisor:Anderson, Claes
Examiner:Lundin, Lisa
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2017
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK002 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme 180 HEC
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:kängurudjur, känguru, vallaby, foderberikning, miljö
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal feeding
Deposited On:15 Oct 2019 11:22
Metadata Last Modified:16 Oct 2019 01:00

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