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1 This article was downloaded by: [Dr Kenneth Shapiro] On: 09 June 2015, At: 07:48 Publisher: Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: Registered office: Mortimer House, Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: Influence of Zoo Visitor Presence on the Behavior of Captive Indian Gaur (Bos gaurus gaurus) in a Zoological Park Mahadevan Sekar a, Thangavel Rajagopal b & Govindaraju Archunan b a Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, Chennai, India b Department of Animal Science, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India Published online: 24 Sep To cite this article: Mahadevan Sekar, Thangavel Rajagopal & Govindaraju Archunan (2008) Influence of Zoo Visitor Presence on the Behavior of Captive Indian Gaur (Bos gaurus gaurus) in a Zoological Park, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 11:4, , DOI: / To link to this article: PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the Content ) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content. This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at

2 JOURNAL OF APPLIED ANIMAL WELFARE SCIENCE, 11: , 2008 Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: print/ online DOI: / Influence of Zoo Visitor Presence on the Behavior of Captive Indian Gaur (Bos gaurus gaurus) in a Zoological Park Mahadevan Sekar, 1 Thangavel Rajagopal, 2 and Govindaraju Archunan 2 1 Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, Chennai, India 2 Department of Animal Science, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli, India Visitors to zoos can be a source of potential disturbance and stress to some captive, nonhuman animals in the wild. To determine the influence of visitor presence on captive bison (Bos gaurus gaurus), the study analyzed the behavior of 4 individuals at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, India. The study often observed the behavior of the animals on visitor-present days and on days when visitors were absent. In the presence of zoo visitors, the bison showed a higher level of intragroup aggression and moving behavior. In contrast, the bison rested more when no visitors were present. The results revealed that the presence of zoo visitors significantly influenced the behavior of captive bison and thereby may have affected their welfare. The Indian gaur or bison (Bos gaurus gaurus) is one of the most impressive of the ruminant cattle in the wild, inhabiting the tropical forest in Western Ghats of south India, and is considered the smallest living artiodactyla. One of the conservation methods to help prevent the extinction of the Indian gaur is breeding programs in zoos. Behavioral research on nonhuman animals in the Correspondence should be sent to Govindaraju Archunan, Department of Animal Science, School of Life Sciences, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirappalli , Tamil Nadu, India

3 BEHAVIOR OF CAPTIVE INDIAN GAUR 353 zoo has always been an important supplement to field and laboratory work. Recently, a number of researchers have emphasized the need for this kind of investigation (Burghardt, 1975; Davey, 2006; Hosey, 2005, 2007; Moran & Sorensen, 1984; Wells, 2005). Behavioral studies are the most common form of nonintrusive research used to assess the condition of animals in captivity (Mallapur & Choudhury, 2003; Mench & Mason, 2000). Published reports about the effects of zoo visitors on animal behavior are somewhat contradictory; some researchers have reported no effect of zoo visitors on animals (Synder, 1975), whereas other researchers have reported negative effects (Cook & Hosey, 1995). Studies suggest that visitors are detrimental to some zoo animals. This results in behavioral changes indicative of reduced well being: (a) decreased exploration, (b) increased intragroup aggression, and (c) increased abnormal behaviors (Hosey, 2000, 2005; Mallapur, Sinha, & Waran, 2005; Skyner, Amory, & Hosey, 2004). In the current study, the behavior of captive Indian gaur has been recorded in the presence and absence of zoo visitors to understand the influence of visitor presence on the behavioral repertoire of this species. Study Area MATERIAL AND METHODS As subjects, the study employed 4 Indian gaur (Bos gaurus gaurus) including 1 adult male, 1 adult female, 1 subadult female, and 1 male young-once ages between 2 and 10 years. All the bison were housed at Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, south India. All bison were housed in an outdoor enclosure of about 2.5 acres with a dry moat. Zoo employees visited the gaur enclosure twice a day for cleaning and feeding. The enclosure consisted of three zones: (a) the edge of the enclosure near the visitors area in which the distance between visitors and the bison was about 7 m; (b) the back area where zoo employees come for the purpose of cleaning and feeding; and (c) the enriched portion in the central area that had trees, a resting platform, feed and water troughs, and sheds. Visitors were allowed in the zoo between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. Behavioral Observation The behaviors were observed for 4 hr a day for 20 days with visitors present and 20 days with visitors absent. The animals were studied at the same time of day (11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) to prevent any inconsistent exposure to extraneous events in the environment (feeding, cleaning). Using a scan-sampling technique,

4 354 SEKAR, RAJAGOPAL, ARCHUNAN the study recorded each bison s behavior every 5 min over the 4-hr recording period per day for each condition. At every sample point, the behavioral state of each individual was recorded in systematic order according to an ethogram. The behaviors recorded included (a) moving (walk, run), (b) resting (standing, lying), (c) aggression (chase or fight), (d) social behaviors (allogroom, horn push or play), and (e) reproductive behavior (flehmen, mounting, fallowing). A total of 160 hr of observations were conducted, divided between the two conditions (visitors present and absent). Data Analysis The total frequency of each behavior was summed for each condition, providing an overall frequency count per bison per behavior. To determine whether behavior was influenced by zoo-visitor presence, a chi-square test was subsequently conducted for each behavioral category for the bison. RESULTS The gaur showed more frequent resting ( 2 D 20:13, df D 3, p <.001) when visitors were absent than when they were present. Visitors presence encouraged significantly more moving behavior ( 2 D 10:14, df D 3, p <.05) and aggressive behavior ( 2 D 18:8, df D 3, p <.001). There was no significant effect of visitor presence on the frequency of reproductive ( 2 D 2.18, df D 3, p >.05) or social behaviors ( 2 D 1.48, df D 3, p >.05). DISCUSSION The last 20 years or more have seen a great growth in the number of behavioral studies of the effects of zoo visitors on animals living in zoos. The results of most studies can be interpreted to show that some zoo animals find the presence of large, active groups of visitors stressful (Bassett, Buchanan-Smith, & Mickinley, 2003; Hosey, 2000; Hosey & Druck, 1987; Mitchell, Obradovich, Herring, Dowd, & Tromburg, 1991), although there are some findings that contradict this trend (Mallapur & Chellam, 2002; Synder, 1975). There may be individual or species variation expressed in response to zoo-visitor presence and absence. The findings from the current study indicate that zoo visitors significantly influenced the behavior of captive bison (Figure 1). On days with no zoo visitors, bison spent more time resting, particularly at the visitors viewing area. The bison also engaged in more agonism and moved more during days when visitors were present than when they were absent. Our findings are consistent with

5 BEHAVIOR OF CAPTIVE INDIAN GAUR 355 FIGURE 1 This figure shows the mean number of times out of a total 960 observation points that four bison displayed moving behavior (MB), resting behavior (RB), social behavior (SB), reproductive behavior (REB), and aggressive behavior (AB) during visitorpresent and visitor-absent days. Error bars represent standard error. Key: ZVPD D Zoo Visitor Presence Day, ZVAD D Zoo Visitor Absence Day. previous reports that the presence of visitors increases disturbance in a number of captive, wild animal species, such as the following: 1. Cotton-topped tamarins (Glatston, Soeteman, Pecek, & Hooff, 1984); 2. Gorillas (Nakamichi, 1998); 3. Orangutans (Brike, 2002); 4. Golden bellied mangabeys (Mitchell, Herring, & Obradovich, 1992); 5. Sloth bears (Forthman & Bakeman, 1992); 6. Tamarins (Moodie & Chamove, 1990); 7. Lion-tailed macaques (Mallapur et al., 2005); 8. Indian leopards (Mallapur & Chellam, 2002; Mallapur, Qureshi & Chellam, 2002); 9. Common marmosets (Bassett et al., 2003); 10. Asian elephants (Rees, 2004), mandrills (Chamove, Hosey, & Schaetzel, 1988); and 11. Spider monkeys (Davis, Schaffner, & Smith, 2005). CONCLUSION It should be noted that the current study was solely concerned with exploring the effect on bison behavior of absent versus present zoo visitors. There is also

6 356 SEKAR, RAJAGOPAL, ARCHUNAN a need to examine more closely the effects of the behavior of zoo visitors on animals they are viewing. Due to the lack of well-established conservation and animal welfare-awareness programs in Indian zoos, the levels of disturbance generated by zoo visitors may be high. Common practices in most Indian zoos include shouting, teasing, feeding, and even physically harming the animals (Venugopal & Sha, 1993). Disturbances such as these have been shown to adversely influence the behavior of wild animals in captivity (Brike, 2002; Kratochvil & Schwammer, 1997). The establishment of a self-sustaining captive population of Indian bison is essential if zoos are to play a significant role in the conservation of this species. Further studies are necessary to explore ways of reducing the negative effects of the human audience on the bison while still facilitating the zoo-visiting experience for the general public. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank P. L. Anathaswamy, I. F. S., CCF, and Director of the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, Chennai, India, for providing both facilities and encouragement. We also thank anonymous referees for their valuable comments on an earlier version of this article. Thangavel Rajagopal acknowledges University Grants Commission, New Delhi, for the award of the Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship. REFERENCES Bassett, L., Buchanan-Smith, H. M., & Mickinley, J. (2003). Effects of training on stress-related behavior of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) in relation to coping with routine husbandry procedures. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 6, Brike, L. (2002). Effects of browse, human visitors and noise on the behaviour of captive orangutans. Animal Welfare, 11, Burghardt, G. M. (1975). Behavioural research on common animals in small zoos. In Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources (Ed.), Research in zoos and aquariums: National Academy of Sciences (pp ). Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Chamove, A. S., Hosey, G. R., & Schaetzel, P. (1988). Visitors excite primates in zoos. Zoo Biology, 7, Cook, S., & Hosey, G. R. (1995). Interaction sequences between chimpanzees and human visitors at the zoo. Zoo Biology, 14, Davey, G. (2006). Relationships between exhibit naturalism, animal visibility and visitor interest in a Chinese zoo. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 96, Davis, N., Schaffner, C. M., & Smith, D. E. (2005). Evidence that zoo visitors influence HPA activity in spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyii rufiventris). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 90, Forthman, D. L., & Bakeman R. (1992). Environmental and social influences on enclosure used and activity patterns of captive sloth bears (Ursus ursinus). Zoo Biology, 11,

7 BEHAVIOR OF CAPTIVE INDIAN GAUR 357 Glatston, A. K., Soeteman, E. G., Pecek, E. H., & Hooff, J. A. R. A. M. V. (1984).The influence of the zoo environment on social behaviour of groups of cotton-topped tamarins, Saguinus oedipus oedipus. Zoo Biology, 3, Hosey, G. R. (2000). Zoo animals and their human audiences: What is the visitor effect? Animal Welfare, 9, Hosey, G. R. (2005). How does the zoo environment affect the behaviour of captive primates? Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 90, Hosey, G. R. (2007). A preliminary model of human-animal relationships in the zoo. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 109, Hosey, G. R., & Druck, P. L. (1987). The influence of zoo visitors on the behaviour of captive primates. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 33, Kratochvil, H., & Schwammer, H. (1997). Reducing acoustic disturbance by aquarium visitors. Zoo Biology, 16, Mallapur, A., & Chellam, R. (2002). Environmental influences on stereotypy and the activity budget of Indian leopards (Panthera pardus) in four zoos in southern India. Zoo Biology, 21, Mallapur, A., & Choudhury, B. C. (2003). Behavioral abnormalities in captive non-human primates. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 6, Mallapur, A., Qureshi, Q., & Chellam, R. (2002). Influences of enclosure design on the utilization of space by leopards (Panthera pardus) in four zoos in southern India. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 5, Mallapur, A., Sinha, A., & Waran, N. (2005). Influence of visitor presence on the behaviour of captive lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) housed in Indian zoos. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 94, Mench, J. A., & Mason, G. J. (2000). Behaviour. In M. C. Appleby & B. O. Hughes (Eds.), Animal welfare (pp ). Oxford, UK: CAB International. Mitchell, G., Herring, F., & Obradovich, S. (1992). Like threaten like in mangabeys and people? Anthrozoös, 5, Mitchell, G., Obradovich, S. D., Herring, F. H., Dowd, B., & Tromburg, C. (1991). Threats to observers, keepers, visitors, and others by zoo mangebays (Cercocebus galeritus chrysogaster). Primates, 32, Moodie, E. M., & Chamove, A. S. (1990). Brief threatening events beneficial for captive tamarins? Zoo Biology, 9, Moran, G., & Sorensen, L. (1984). The behavioural researcher and the zoological park. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 13, Nakamichi, M. (1998). Stick throwing by gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Folia Primatology, 69, Rees, P. A. (2004). Some preliminary evidence of the social facilitation of mounting behaviour in a juvenile bull Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 7, Skyner, L. J., Amory, J. R., & Hosey, G. R. (2004). The effects of visitors on the self-injurious behaviour of a male pileated gibbon (Hylobates pileatus). Der Zoologische Garten, 74, Synder, R. L. (1975). Behavioral stress in captive animals. In G. Rabb (Ed.), Research in zoos and aquariums (pp ). Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Venugopal, B., & Sha, A. A. (1993). Visitor behaviour at lion-tailed macaque in the Mysor zoos. Zoos Print Journal, 8, Wells, D. L. (2005). A note on the influence of visitors on the behaviour and welfare of zoo housed gorillas. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 93,

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