Title

Exploring Visitor Behavior at a Florida Zoo

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

Zoo visitors can be stressful to zoo residents. Understanding how visitors’ behavior impacts zoo residents is imperative to the overall well being of captive populations. Video data of zoo visitors at a chimpanzee exhibit were collected at the Zoo of Northwest Florida (ZNWF) in the summer of 2009. There were three conditions presented at the exhibit to educate visitors on chimpanzee behaviors: with a trained docent present, with a graphic sign explaining species typical behaviors, and with a control condition. We hypothesized that educating the visitors either orally or with a sign would change their behavior. Visitors spent longer at the exhibit in the docent condition than in the sign condition. Visitors spent an average of 12 seconds looking at the sign and they used the behaviors 37.5 percent of the time following the look. Visitors were significantly more active in the sign condition.

Poster Number

13

Faculty Mentor(s)

Mary Lee Jensvold

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 16th, 8:20 AM May 16th, 10:50 AM

Exploring Visitor Behavior at a Florida Zoo

SURC Ballroom C/D

Zoo visitors can be stressful to zoo residents. Understanding how visitors’ behavior impacts zoo residents is imperative to the overall well being of captive populations. Video data of zoo visitors at a chimpanzee exhibit were collected at the Zoo of Northwest Florida (ZNWF) in the summer of 2009. There were three conditions presented at the exhibit to educate visitors on chimpanzee behaviors: with a trained docent present, with a graphic sign explaining species typical behaviors, and with a control condition. We hypothesized that educating the visitors either orally or with a sign would change their behavior. Visitors spent longer at the exhibit in the docent condition than in the sign condition. Visitors spent an average of 12 seconds looking at the sign and they used the behaviors 37.5 percent of the time following the look. Visitors were significantly more active in the sign condition.