Stay Away From These Animals At The Illinois Zoo – They DO NOT Like You
A Trip to the zoo is always filled with fun for the little ones, but have you ever wondered if the animals are excited to see you? Well, a recent study in England, "The Impact of Visitors on Non-Primate Species in Zoos: A Quantitative Review" looks at just that.
"Visitors in zoos have a variable impact on animals; principally categorized as positive, negative or neutral. This paper quantifies the impact of visitors in non-primate species, based on 105 papers found in the literature."
Visiting the zoo is a beloved pastime for many, and while we may enjoy seeing the animals, we often wonder if they enjoy seeing us too. A recent study conducted in England has shed light on this question, with surprising results.
Zoo Animals That Like To See Humans
Out of the 250 species observed, the majority seemed indifferent to human presence. However, there were a few that seemed to thrive when surrounded by big groups of people. The most notable of these were elephants, who were found to be more active and less bored when visitors were around. Other animals that seemed to enjoy human company include penguins, cheetahs, prairie dogs, cockatoos, grizzly bears, and polar bears.
Zoo Animals That DO NOT Like To See Humans
On the other hand, there were animals that didn't seem to like it when people were around. Ostriches, in particular, were found to be unhappy when humans were nearby. Certain reptiles, hedgehogs, and marsupials like kangaroos were also on the list of animals that didn't appreciate human presence.
The Point Of The Study
The researchers stressed that it's important not to hold it against these animals. The study's main objective was to see if different enclosures could make the animals more comfortable. Some enclosures had better living conditions than others, which may explain why certain animals didn't seem to enjoy having people around.
As we continue to learn more about animal behavior, we can work towards creating environments that make them feel comfortable and content. Until then, we can enjoy our time at the zoo knowing that some of our favorite animals may enjoy seeing us just as much as we enjoy seeing them.
A Quick Recap
You can read more about the study from Nottingham Trent University here, or see this quick BBC recap:
Research by Nottingham Trent and Harper Adams universities suggests elephants enjoy interacting with visitors at zoos
Marsupials, Ostriches and hedgehogs were found to be negatively affected by visitors
Visit Your Local Illinois Zoo
If your kids want to spend time with the cool critters at Niabi Zoo, they have a Summer Zoo Camp program that is both educational and fun! This five-day camp will include interactive learning experiences, hands-on activities, special zoo tours, up-close animal encounters and more. Here's more information about the Niabi Zoo Camp.