Student Summer Scholars Manuscripts

First Advisor

Jodee Hunt


Biology, zoology, animal behavior


Biology | Zoology




Felines are popular attractions at zoos across the country, even more so when young animals are involved. As such caretakers strive to ensure that their animal’s needs are met, and individuals display healthy behaviors and activity levels in comparison to their wild counterparts (Mcphee & Carlstead, 2010). However, cats, being wide-ranging carnivores, are known to be prone to stereotypical behaviors which can be detrimental to an animal’s health (Clubb & Mason, 2003). At John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we observed the behaviors and spatial use of 3 Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) during the summer of 2020; an adult male, an adult female, and the offspring of the two, a female kitten born in 2020. The adult male and adult female were also observed during the summers of 2018 and 2019. Our goal in observing the cats was to determine whether changes in the cats’ social structure and changes in their enclosure affected the overall behavior, spatial use, and activity levels of the lynx.