The Effects of Environmental Enrichment on Bobcats

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CONFERENCE: Posters-at-the-Capitol

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Ueltschi, Patrick Steven
Animal Studies
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Environmental enrichment is a crucial aspect of keeping animals in captivity. It is adapted and used differently for each individual species. When used correctly, enrichment activities should benefit the animals by reducing stereotypic behaviors and helping them to exhibit natural behaviors. This study used multiple enrichment techniques to attempt to enhance the lives of two different bobcats (Lynx rufus) at the Salato Wildlife Center. The enrichments attempted to alter the environmental aspects of the enclosure and introduce new stimuli to the animals; we attempted to make them think and act in a different manner, and we did this through many different methods, such as, introducing new scents, allowing them to experience different natural tastes, covering various areas of their enclosure, and in many other ways. It was expected that the enrichments would reduce pacing and sleeping, while increasing foraging and social behaviors.