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Wallgren, Björn, 2014. Jätteuttrar och deras beteende när de tilldelas musslor i hägn. First cycle, G2E. Skara: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



The giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) is listed as an endangered species and scientific litterature concerning its biology and behaviour is scarce. The current study observed a group of three giant otters in a Swedish zoo. First the otters normal behaviour was recorded. Then the aim of the study was to see if the otters behaviour changed when given blue mussels (Mytilus edulis). Furthermore the aim was to see if the otters displayed any tool-using behaviour when given mussels. In other words to see if the otters used tools, as rocks for example, to crack open the shells of the mussels to gain access to the soft tissue inside. Finally one aim of the study was to investigate if giving mussels to captive giant otters could have any enriching effects on the otters.

The results showed that the otters did change their behaviour when given mussels. The change consisted of the otters becoming more active after receiving mussels. The observed otters did not engage in anything that could resemble tool-using behaviour. It is also likely that the mussels had an enriching effect on the otters since they were showing great interest in them and manipulating them both with their mouth and paws.

The study also gives some suggestions for other enrichment methods for captive giant otters accomodated to the Swedish legislation. For example it would be interesting to investigate wheter live insects or rubber chewtoys would have any enriching effects on captive giant otters. Furthermore it could be interesting to insert the food into grapevine balls to make it harder for the otters to gain access to the food.

Main title:Jätteuttrar och deras beteende när de tilldelas musslor i hägn
Authors:Wallgren, Björn
Supervisor:Axelsson, Helene
Examiner:Jung, Jens
Series:Studentarbete / Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Institutionen för husdjurens miljö och hälsa
Volume/Sequential designation:552
Year of Publication:2014
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:jätteutter, berikning, verktygsanvändning
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal genetics and breeding
Deposited On:12 Aug 2014 10:14
Metadata Last Modified:12 Aug 2014 10:14

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