|Changes in behavior of Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) following introduction to John Ball Zoo|
|Kylie Galla, Isabel Thompson, Jodee Hunt. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, United States
Zoo animals alter their behavior in response to environmental changes. These may include introduction of new individuals to a social group, or changes in husbandry or enclosure features. Zoo animals may also move between zoos, thereby introducing them to a new location or social group. Two male, juvenile, sibling Amur tigers were transferred to John Ball Zoo and introduced to a 920 m2 outdoor enclosure. We quantified spatially explicit behaviors over a 6-week period following introduction to explore how use of the enclosure differed between the individuals and how it changed over time. We used ZooMonitor, an application spatially explicit data, to quantify behavior in 30-minute bouts of all-occurrences interval sampling, alternating AM and PM observation sessions. Animals exhibited restricted spatial use initially, but increased diversity of behaviors and spatial use of the enclosure over time. In addition, the two individuals differed in their use of space and patterns of behavior. Specific enclosure features, e.g., logs and water pool, facilitated play and other active behaviors, and others linked to inactive behaviors like sleeping.