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How does feeding regime affect behaviour and activity in captive African lions (Panthera leo)?
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Boras Djurpk, Sweden.
Boras Djurpk, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5583-2697
2019 (English)In: JOURNAL OF ZOO AND AQUARIUM RESEARCH, ISSN 2214-7594, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 117-125Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Lions (Panthera leo) are popular zoo animals and obligate carnivores. In the past, zoos focused on the nutritional aspect of feeding, whereas today they also aim to encourage naturalistic feeding opportunities. AZAs Lion Care Manual recommends a frequent feeding schedule, while other sources highlight the benefits of unpredictable, infrequent feeding schedules. Further, the husbandry guidelines for lions by EAZA propose to feed lions separately. To assess how lions are affected by feeding frequency, we collected data on five event behaviour categories (social affiliative, agonistic, exploratory, marking, maintenance) and four state behaviour categories (inactive, active, feed, pace) of four captive lion prides held on either high frequency (HF: feeding pieces of meat on four to five occasions per week) or low frequency feeding (LF: feeding a whole carcass on one occasion per week). We found that some event behaviour categories (agonistic, exploratory and marking) and one state behaviour (feeding) were more frequent for lions on HF feeding. Lions on both feeding regimes engaged more often in agonistic behaviour and were more inactive on feeding days than fasting days. On fasting days, activity and pacing, as well as exploratory, maintenance, marking and social behaviour, were more frequent than on feeding days. During the consecutive fasting days, the lions on LF feeding were increasingly active in terms of walking, trotting and running. The results show that LF feeding with whole carcasses allowed the prides to resolve social discrepancies during feeding, which reduced aggression between feedings. LF feeding resulted in satiety of the lions to the extent of altered behaviour during feeding day and the first fasting day, whereas lions on HF feeding showed unvarying behaviour during feeding and fasting days suggesting a lack of satiety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EUROPEAN ASSOC ZOOS & AQUARIA , 2019. Vol. 7, no 3, p. 117-125
Keywords [en]
husbandry; satiation; satiety; felids; hunger
National Category
Behavioral Sciences Biology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-159601DOI: 10.19227/jzar.v7i3.392ISI: 000478019700003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-159601DiVA, id: diva2:1342239
Available from: 2019-08-13 Created: 2019-08-13 Last updated: 2019-08-13

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Citation style
  • apa
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