The effect of visitor number and spice provisioning in pacing expression by jaguars evaluated through a case study

O efeito do número de visitantes e do provisionamento de especiaria na expressão do pacing por onças-pintadas avaliado por estudo de caso

L. S. Vidal F. R. Guilherme V. F. Silva M. C. S. R. Faccio M. M. Martins D. C. Briani About the authors


Captive animals exhibit stereotypic pacing in response to multiple causes, including the inability to escape from human contact. Environmental enrichment techniques can minimize pacing expression. By using an individual-based approach, we addressed whether the amount of time two males and a female jaguar (Panthera onca) devote to pacing varied with the number of visitors and tested the effectiveness of cinnamon and black pepper in reducing pacing. The amount of time that all jaguars engaged in pacing increased significantly with the number of visitors. Despite the difference between the males regarding age and housing conditions, both devoted significantly less time to pacing following the addition of both spices, which indicates their suitability as enrichment techniques. Mean time devoted to pacing among the treatments did not differ for the female. Our findings pointed out to the validity of individual-based approaches, as they can reveal how suitable olfactory stimuli are to minimizing stereotypies irrespective of particular traits.

behavior; jaguar; pacing; Panthera onca; public exposure; spice provisioning

Instituto Internacional de Ecologia R. Bento Carlos, 750, 13560-660 São Carlos SP - Brasil, Tel. e Fax: (55 16) 3362-5400 - São Carlos - SP - Brazil