The introduction of a new animal to a social group can cause individual zoo animals to alter their behavior. In 2019, a male lion was successfully introduced to an adult female at John Ball Zoo, after previously being exhibited with her sister in 2018. A second, older male continued to be exhibited alone, alternating with the pair in the same enclosure. Our study objective was to compare differences in behavior between 2018 and 2019 for the female (“experimental” animal whose social group changed) and the solitary male (“control” animal whose social group did not change). We used Zoomonitor to record state behaviors (e.g., walk) in scans conducted every 30 seconds collected during 30-minute focal-animal observation bouts. These data provided both spatial and behavioral detail. The female lion showed increased activity in 2019 and shifted the focal point of her inactive behaviors. In contrast, the solitary male did not alter his behavior between years.
Mayfield, Andrew and Smith, Abigail, "Miss Independent: Social Group Composition Influences Spatial Patterns in a Female Lion" (2020). Student Scholars Day Posters. 50.