Soriano, A. I., Vinyoles, D., Maté, C. 2019. Patterns of animal–enrichment interaction in captive brown bears. Zoo Biology 38(3), 239-247.
We studied the behavioral responses of three brown bears (Ursus arctos) to different types of enrichment devices to assess the predominant pattern of animal-enrichment interaction (PAI) to each type of enrichment. We assessed the bears' responses to feeding, sensory, and occupational enrichments over nine sessions. Using Pearson's correlation (r) and the coefficient of variation (CV) we describe four models of PAIs: habituation, increasing, continuous, and fluctuating. The habituation model (r<0 and p<0.05; CV (%)>0) consists of a loss of interest in the device over time and it occurred with the occupational device. The increasing model (r>0 and p<0.05; CV (%)>0) consists of a sustained interest in the device over time and it was not observed for any device of this study. The continuous model (0>r>0 and p>0.05; CV (%)<100) consists of a consistent and unchanging interaction over time and it occurred with the feeding enrichments used in this study. The fluctuating PAI (0>r>0 and p>0.05; CV (%)≥100) consists of wide oscillations in the degree of interaction over time and we observed this pattern with sensory devices. Review of previous literature supports these classes of PAI, and suggests similar relationships between PAIs and the type of enrichment as we observed in this study.