Captivity (animal)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Animals that are held by humans and prevented from escaping are said to be in captivity.

domesticated animals such as livestock or pets. This may include, for example, animals in farms, private homes, zoos and laboratories
. Animal captivity may be categorized according to the particular motives, objectives and conditions of the confinement.


Throughout history not only domestic animals as pets and livestock were kept in captivity and under human care, but also wild animals. Despite the fact that wild animals have been harbored by humans for thousands of years, this captivity has not always approximated present zoos. Some were failed domestication attempts. Also, in past times, primarily the wealthy, aristocrats and kings collected wild animals for various reasons.The affluent built the first zoos as personal collections to demonstrate their dominance. These private collections of animals were known as menageries. Contrary to domestication, the ferociousness and natural behaviour of the wild animals were preserved and exhibited. Today's zoos claim other reasons for keeping animals under human care: conservation, education and science.

Behavior of animals in captivity

Captive animals, especially those not domesticated, sometimes develop abnormal behaviours.

One type of abnormal behaviour is

zoochosis, as it is manifested in stereotypical behaviors.[2] Many who keep animals in captivity attempt to prevent or decrease stereotypical behavior by introducing stimuli, a process known as environmental enrichment. The goals of environmental enrichment are to make environments more complex and fluid, offer more engaging and complex processes, and give animals more chances to make decisions. Techniques that are commonly used to provide environmental enrichment include social, occupation, physical, sensory, and nutritional.[3]

A type of abnormal behavior shown in captive animals is self-injurious behavior (SIB). Self-injurious behavior indicates any activity that involves biting, scratching, hitting, hair plucking, or

Hair plucking is a jerking motion applied to one's own hair with hands or teeth, resulting in its excessive removal.[4]

The proximal causes of self-injurious behavior have been widely studied in captive

rhesus macaques still exhibit some self-injurious behaviors,[6] nursery-reared rhesus macaques are much more likely to self-abuse than mother-reared ones.[4] Nonsocial factors include the presence of a small cut, a wound or irritant, cold weather, human contact, and frequent zoo visitors.[5] For example, a study has shown that zoo visitor density positively correlates with the number of gorillas banging on the barrier, and that low zoo visitor density caused gorillas to behave in a more relaxed way. Captive animals often cannot escape the attention and disruption caused by the general public, and the stress resulting from this lack of environmental control may lead to an increased rate of self-injurious behaviors.[7]

Studies suggest that many abnormal captive behaviors, including

social animals.[9] Social companionship provided by pair housing encourages social interaction, thus reducing abnormal and anxiety-related behavior in captive animals as well as increasing their locomotion.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Definitions, 1911 CHAPTER 27 1 and 2 Geo 5; "...the expression “captive animal” means any animal (not being a domestic animal) of whatsoever kind or species, and whether a quadruped or not, including any bird, fish, or reptile, which is in captivity, or confinement, or which is maimed, pinioned, or subjected to any appliance or contrivance for the purpose of hindering or preventing the animals escape from captivity or confinement..."; Protection of Animals Act 1911;
  2. ^ "What Is Zoochosis and How Do Animals Get It?". IDA USA. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  3. ^ "Environmental enrichment". Retrieved 2022-10-26.
  4. ^
    PMID 17209750
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