Date of Graduation

Summer 2019

Degree

Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Michael Clayton

Keywords

environmental enrichment, Bengal tigers, free-operant, preference assessment, olfactory stimuli

Subject Categories

Animal Studies | Applied Behavior Analysis

Abstract

Problem behaviors occur often in captive wild animals due to stress and boredom. Environmental enrichment is one of the most successful methods to help minimize these types of behaviors in many captive wild animals. The current study investigated preferences of play items and scents for seven adult Bengal tigers in a Tiger Sanctuary using a free-operant preference assessment. Two subspecies of Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris) are represented. Six of the tigers are Panthera tigris tigris and one is Panthera tigris altaica. Three phases were run on each tiger, ultimately establishing a hierarchy of preferred play items and scents for each tiger included in the study. The significance of systematic manipulation of play items and scents (preference testing) with wild animals is discussed as well as the importance of caring for captive animals.

Copyright

© Trista Yvonne Shrock

Open Access

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