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Current husbandry of red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) in zoos

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Abstract

The endangered red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is held in zoos worldwide. The aim of this study was to examine how red pandas are kept and managed in captivity and to compare it with the management guidelines. Sixty-nine zoos, mainly from Europe but also from North America and Australia/New Zealand, responded to our survey. The results revealed that in general zoos follow the management guidelines for most of the investigated issues. The average enclosure is almost four times larger than the minimum size recommended by the management guidelines, although seven zoos have smaller enclosures. About half the zoos do not follow the guidelines concerning visitor access and number of nest boxes. Other issues that may compromise animal welfare include proximity of neighboring carnivore species and placement of nest boxes. Zoo Biol 29:732–740, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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