Welfare of a pair of Captive Tigers: a Hand-Reared Female and a Parent-Reared Male

Authors

  • Mara Bertocchi Department of Veterinary Science, University of Parma
  • Spiezio Caterina Parco Natura Viva – Garda Zoological Park, Località Figara 40, 37012 Bussolengo, VR, ITALY
  • Di Ianni Francesco Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Parma, Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, ITALY
  • Macchi Elisabetta Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Turin, Via Leonardo da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco, TO, ITALY
  • Parmigiani Enrico Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Parma, Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, ITALY
  • Sandri Camillo Parco Natura Viva – Garda Zoological Park, Località Figara 40, 37012 Bussolengo, VR, ITALY
  • Ponzio Patrizia Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Turin, Via Leonardo da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco, TO, ITALY
  • Quintavalla Fausto Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Parma, Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, ITALY

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24297/jaa.v5i1.4508

Keywords:

Animal welfare, hand-rearing, tiger behavior, fecal cortisol, stereotypies.

Abstract

Animal welfare assessment has undergone considerable development. The management and rearing of big cats may lead these animals to express behavioral problems. This study was performed to assess the well-being of a non-breeding pair of Siberian tigers using ethological and physiological parameters. During the day, the animals were kept together in the outdoor exhibit, whereas overnight the tigers were individually housed. Twenty 45-min sessions were run for each subject. The Focal Animal Sampling method was used to record individual and social behaviors. In addition, fecal cortisol levels were monitored and determined by enzyme immunoassay. Single case analysis was run to analyze behavioral data and cortisol levels. Findings highlight that species-specific behaviors were performed by both animals. However, significant differences between the two tigers were observed in stress-related behaviors: the female showed stereotypic behavior, whereas the male did not. No significant differences in fecal cortisol levels were observed. Results suggest that the ethological parameters could be more sensitive than the physiological ones in detecting a stressful condition. Analyzing behavioral data together with physiological stress markers may allow for a more complete assessment of animal welfare.

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Author Biographies

Spiezio Caterina, Parco Natura Viva – Garda Zoological Park, Località Figara 40, 37012 Bussolengo, VR, ITALY

Research and Conservation Department

Di Ianni Francesco, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Parma, Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, ITALY

Animal Health Department

Macchi Elisabetta, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Turin, Via Leonardo da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco, TO, ITALY

Veterinary Morphophysiology Department

Parmigiani Enrico, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Parma, Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, ITALY

Animal Health Department

Sandri Camillo, Parco Natura Viva – Garda Zoological Park, Località Figara 40, 37012 Bussolengo, VR, ITALY

Research and Conservation Department

Ponzio Patrizia, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Turin, Via Leonardo da Vinci 44, 10095 Grugliasco, TO, ITALY

Morphophysiology Department

Quintavalla Fausto, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Parma, Via del Taglio 10, 43126 Parma, ITALY

Animal Health Department

Published

2015-11-02

How to Cite

Bertocchi, M., Caterina, S., Francesco, D. I., Elisabetta, M., Enrico, P., Camillo, S., Patrizia, P., & Fausto, Q. (2015). Welfare of a pair of Captive Tigers: a Hand-Reared Female and a Parent-Reared Male. JOURNAL OF ADVANCES IN AGRICULTURE, 5(1), 545-556. https://doi.org/10.24297/jaa.v5i1.4508

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