Examining how a general audience rates herptile welfare in zoos
Keywords:perceptions of welfare, reptiles, welfare, zoo, zoo animal welfare
There is a demonstrated lack of research available in the realm of herptile welfare and the public perception of zoo animal welfare. This study examined zoo visitor perceptions of herptile welfare through delivery of a survey at three different zoos with the goal to elucidate the specific factors that influence visitor perceptions. Findings from this study suggest that there is a correlation between the frequency of annual zoo visits and welfare perceptions. There was an observed difference in welfare perceptions among five herptile species. Visitor perceptions of animal welfare were consistent across all study locations. These findings demonstrate consistent expectations of animal welfare held by this sample of zoo visitors. Responses from zoo visitors in this study demonstrate that they perceive zoos are successfully meeting the physical needs of herptiles but could improve upon meeting the affective needs of the animals.
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