Behaviour 2019
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Assessing Impact of Evening Zoo Events on Daytime Activity of Nearby Animals
Cathleen R Cox. Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles, CA, United States

Occasionally evening events are held at the zoo; up to 4000 guests attend and there is music and dance. The animals’ surroundings clearly differ from  more typical evenings when the park is closed.  In 2018 there were 7 events on Friday evenings; behavior of 3 species housed closest to guests and entertainment was observed on Saturdays.  An equal number of observations were done during each of 3 different time periods on days which did or did not follow evening events. If such events were stressful an increase in self-directed behavior such as scratching and self-grooming was expected. If they disrupted social behavior greater distance between individuals was expected.  If they caused the animals to remain awake later than usual greater counts of stationary activity were expected.  Forty-eight hours of observation of white-faced sakis, Pithecia pithecia, and 33 hours of observation of orangutans, Pongo pygmaeus, showed no differences. In contrast, 24 hours of observation of king vultures, Sarcoramphus papa, showed an increase in distance between the birds on days following evening events.  The need to monitor different species responses to environmental changes is discussed.