Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology and University Honors
Captive marine mammals -- Environmental enrichment, Zoos -- Accreditation, Aquariums -- Accreditation, Aquatic animal welfare, Captive seals -- Environmental enrichment, Captive dolphins -- Environmental enrichment, Animal welfare
Animal care and conservation facilities such as zoos, aquaria, and marine mammal parks often utilize a variety of enrichments to deter stereotypic behaviors and improve overall animal welfare. Facilities that go through the intense accreditation process of one or more accreditation organizations must uphold the animal care standards and education requirements that these organizations call for. These care standards typically include regulations regarding animal training and enrichment, though the extent to which these regulations go into detail often vary from species to species and between organizations. The goal of this review was to assess the current standard of animal enrichment used for captive marine mammals by summarizing the history of animal welfare as it relates to marine mammals, as well as discuss what marine mammal enrichments are utilized today and what future enrichment practices may look like based on current research. It was concluded that the scope of a given accreditation organization can have an impact on how specific regulations are regarding marine mammal training and enrichment and that future animal welfare and research studies will likely continue searching for practices to decrease stereotypic behaviors, especially as collaborative research methods become more prominent.
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Richardson, Ashleigh I., "A Review of Animal Welfare and Current Enrichment Methods for Captive Marine Mammals" (2022). University Honors Theses. Paper 1248.