Education in the zoo: a study of the relationship between education, zoo visitors and animal behaviour

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dc.contributor.advisor Ramsay, Ruth en
dc.contributor.advisor Kennedy, Declan en Collins, Courtney Keane 2019-03-08T11:50:17Z 2019-03-08T11:50:17Z 2018 2018
dc.identifier.citation Collins, C. K. 2019. Education in the zoo: a study of the relationship between education, zoo visitors and animal behaviour. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.endpage 342 en
dc.description.abstract One of the primary stated goals of zoos is education of the public. Yet, zoos have been criticised for failing to show evidence of their claims to be educators. Because of the general lack of research surrounding education in the zoo, even less is known about how education relates to the other areas of zoo research. This thesis presents a range of integrated studies which explore the relationship between zoological education, zoo visitors and animal behaviour. First, the effect of the zoo setting and visitors on the behaviour of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) and Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) was considered. Generally, it was found that the animals had habituated to visitors and were not disturbed by them. Next, the effect of zoological education on children’s learning was assessed using pre- and post-surveys. Some groups of children participated in an educational intervention (EI), during which children made enrichment devices for animals. The results indicated that children who participated in the EI were more likely show increases in knowledge and behaviour than those who did not. Finally, children’s behaviour and conversation and animals’ behaviour were simultaneously recorded as the children viewed the animals. Overwhelmingly, children who participated in the EI engaged in fewer negative behaviours towards the animals, made more positive and fewer negative comments than those who did not participate in the EI. There was little effect on the animals’ behaviour of being observed by either group. This thesis represents the most detailed research into children’s zoological education in Ireland and is one of the first studies to observe children’s and animals’ behaviour simultaneously, while considering the effect of education. It is a significant source of information for both educators and zoological institutions in regards to the development of educational material to enhance learning in the zoo and to promote pro-conservation behaviour change and positive animal welfare. Additionally, it established that the species included here were not disturbed by visitor interactions, and in a supervised capacity may be suitable for limited animal-visitor interactions. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2018, Courtney Keane Collins. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject Education en
dc.subject Animal behaviour en
dc.subject Visitor effects en
dc.subject Enrichment en
dc.subject Animal-visitor interactions en
dc.title Education in the zoo: a study of the relationship between education, zoo visitors and animal behaviour en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en Not applicable en
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences en
dc.check.type No Embargo Required
dc.check.reason Not applicable en
dc.check.opt-out Not applicable en
dc.thesis.opt-out false
dc.check.embargoformat Embargo not applicable (If you have not submitted an e-thesis or do not want to request an embargo) en
dc.internal.conferring Spring 2019 en

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© 2018, Courtney Keane Collins. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2018, Courtney Keane Collins.
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