Female Nile Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) Space Use in a Naturalistic Exhibit
Abbreviated Journal Title
captive; behavior; ArcView; water depth; Veterinary Sciences; Zoology
Zoological institutions provide naturalistic exhibits for their animals in order to offer a more appealing look for visitors and give the animal the opportunity to engage in more natural behaviors. Examining space use of the animals in the naturalistic exhibit may aid in the management of these animals and inform future naturalistic exhibit design. The hippopotamus is an amphibious ungulate that spends much of its days in the wild in the water but may be found along the banks of the rivers basking in the sun. Our objective was to determine how captive female hippos utilize their exhibit by examining whether hippos selected for certain areas of a naturalistic exhibit. Scan sample data were collected on a group of nine captive female hippos housed at Disney's Animal Kingdom (R). Using ArcView, the data were analyzed to determine distribution of hippos in the exhibit and their utilization of depth categories while in the water. Hippos were found to aggregate in preferred areas of the exhibit, mostly water, and selected most for water depths of 0.6-1.0 m. These results will aid in the understanding of hippopotamus space use and may aid zoological institutions in the design of naturalistic exhibits for hippos. Zoo Biol 31: 129-136, 2012. (c) 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
"Female Nile Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) Space Use in a Naturalistic Exhibit" (2012). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 2312.