Social and environmental influences on pacing in a female Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus)
Pacing behaviour is complex and identifying the motivational basis for pacing and designing an effective remedial strategy can be challenging. Details of the behaviour may provide insight into the motivational basis of behaviour and should be carefully examined. A long-term observational study of pacing by a female Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) was conducted to gather detailed information on the pacing behaviour and guide husbandry changes. Full-day behaviour observations were conducted (n=60; mean duration=5.9 hrs/observation). Pacing data were recorded using continuous sampling methodology with all-occurrences recording of events before and after pacing bouts. Solitary behaviour and social interaction between the focal female and a male and female exhibit partner were recorded using instantaneous sampling and all-occurrences methodologies, respectively. All pacing bouts occurred between tunnels to off-exhibit indoor holding areas, bouts were short in duration and variable, and pacing often began after the male bear entered a shift tunnel. Social interactions between the two females were frequently agonistic. Based on these findings, the non-focal female bear was removed from the group and the focal female and male were given access to indoor holding areas on most days. The focal female only paced once when provided access to indoor holding. When the bears did not have off-exhibit access, pacing characteristics appeared similar to bouts before modifications but pacing no longer appear to be influenced by the male’s behaviour. Our detailed analysis of pacing by the female sun bear provided insight regarding motivation, the need for husbandry changes, and evaluation of those changes.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).