Friday, 22 May 2009

Ring tailed lemur enclosure!

While I was in Borneo we visited a local zoo. We were all prepared for poor enrichments and enclosures as the animal welfare laws in Malaysia are virtually none existent.
Now you all know now much I love ring tailed lemurs. So, even though I was prepared for it, their enclosure in this zoo still shocked me. Some enclosures we saw were quite good, almost as good as british zoos. But this was the most horrific thing I have ever seen.
This enclosure contained 2 lemurs. The enclosure consisted of a box that was about 10 feet by 10 feet by 10 feet. There were a couple of branches in it for them to climb on. And that was it!!!
While I was stood there I watched one of them walk round and round and round on the branches in the enclosure. This is what is called "stereotypical behavior". This type of behavior is seen in captive animals that are basically going insane. In British zoos they try to reduce this by giving the animals "behavioral enrichments". This is basically things to do, things like trees to climb on, balls, hiding their food, dragging meat for carnivores to chase. Basically little things that will encourage them to do things they would naturally do in the wild.
Other stereotypical behavior you might see:
  • pacing.
  • rocking/swaying.
  • over grooming.
  • self harm.
  • calling.

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