Different enriched environments for Eurasian lynx in the Barnaul Zoo
T. V. Antonenko, O. M. Ulitina, S. V. Pysarev, A. V. Matsyura
Our primary interest is in welfare of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in the Barnaul Zoo. As discussed below, behavioural researches can reveal much about the welfare of captive wild animals. Eurasian lynx behaviour is studied and time budget is calculated for male and female. The Schorygin’ similarity coefficient of behaviour is determined (87.2%). The male lynx demonstrated low degree of stereotypic behaviour–5.9%, the female lynx–3.8%. We analyzed the differences in their behaviour before and after environmental enrichment. Olfactory environmental enrichment exhibits a decrease of male stereotypic behaviour on 24.3% and of female on 18.8%. Feeding environmental enrichment reduces male stereotypic behaviour on 15.9%, female on 20.3% (with a rat trunk); the male lynx pacing is diminished on 0.9% and female stereotypic behaviour on 1.4% in experiments with meat under fresh-cut grass.
Based on our findings, we recommend that lynxes should be housed by mating pair (male with female), with appropriate hiding locations and with the varied feeding, change decorations for captive lynx, carry out tests by olfactory environmental enrichment (with pony droppings and with valerian) and feeding environmental enrichment. It could be concluded that animal welfare depends on keepers’ goodwill relation with captive lynx.
Key words: Animal welfare; Barnaul Zoo; Captive lynx; Environmental enrichment; Eurasian lynx; Lynx lynx.