Ensuring a good welfare for animals housed in zoos, is not an easy job. It might not even be something we will ever really get a perfect grip on. Animal species have evolved over many years and their physical, physiological, social and behavioural traits have been developed in order for them to survive as best as they can in their natural environment. In captivity, animals may face a number of challenges which evolution has not prepared them for and this disables the animal to fulfil their behavioural needs. The absence of these, climate, diet, the size and characteristics of their enclosure or the fact that they have to rely on humans for their every need can cause an animal to feel stressed in which it starts to perform a stereotypic behaviour. Repetitive, abnormal behaviour is often regarded as an indicator of poor welfare and is studied as a coping mechanism and measures of stress which can potentially go on to cause brain dysfunction. I believe that the display of abnormal behaviour patterns are not recognised enough by the public eye.
The mental life of animals in captivity
I made this documentary because I wanted to educate people about what lies behind these stereotypic behaviours which we can easily identify, but might not have given a further thought about, or brought a negative judgement upon when visiting the zoo. The study of stereotypic behaviour is complicated with many important factors that determines the health of a captive animal. ‘Zoochosis’ brings you the whole picture of how animals experience living in a stressful and unnatural environment, and how it effects their mental and natural life.
Zoochosis – The living conditions of animals in captivity – Documentary.net
Zoochosis – A Documentary – Born Free Foundation
Zoochosis – The Problem with Zoos – Animal Mosiac
ZOOCHOSIS – A Study of Abnormal Behaviours in Zoos – Frontier
Zoochosis: The Disturbing Thing That Happens to Animals in Captivity – Care2
Zoochosis: What Really Happens to Animals in Captivity (VIDEO) – OneGreenPlanet
KU student’s Kickstarter funded zoo film is ready to watch – My Kingston
Changes For SeaWorld: Exploring ‘Zoochosis’ In Animals – Lakes Student Media
>> Listen to the podcast from Animal News Hour
Listen to the full podcast here
The Elephant in the Room – Narrated by Virginia McKenna – Elefilm.eu