• “You Can’t Really Hug a Tiger”: Zookeepers and Their Bonds with Animals

      Birke, Lynda; Hosey, Geoff; Melfi, Vicky (Informa UK Limited, 2019-09-20)
    • Individual, social, and environmental factors affecting salivary and fecal cortisol levels in captive pied tamarins (Saguinus bicolor)

      Wormell, Dominic; Smith, Tessa E.; Price, Eluned E.; Ahsmann, J.; Glendewar, G.; Hunt, J.; Coleman, Robert, C.; University of Chester (Wiley, 2019-08-01)
      Pied tamarins (Saguinus bicolor) are endangered New World primates, and in captivity appear to be very susceptible to stress. We measured cortisol in 214 saliva samples from 36 tamarins and in 227 fecal samples from 27 tamarins, and investigated the effects of age, sex, pregnancy, rearing history, social status, weight, group composition, and enclosure type using generalized linear mixed models. There was no effect of age on either fecal or salivary cortisol levels. Female pied tamarins in late pregnancy had higher fecal cortisol levels than those in early pregnancy, or nonpregnant females, but there was no effect of pregnancy on salivary cortisol. Females had higher salivary cortisol levels than males, but there was no effect of rearing history. However, for fecal cortisol, there was an interaction between sex and rearing history. Hand‐reared tamarins overall had higher fecal cortisol levels, but while male parent‐reared tamarins had higher levels than females who were parent‐ reared, the reverse was true for hand‐reared individuals. There was a trend towards lower fecal cortisol levels in subordinate individuals, but no effect of status on salivary cortisol. Fecal but not salivary cortisol levels declined with increasing weight. We found little effect of group composition on cortisol levels in either saliva or feces, suggesting that as long as tamarins are housed socially, the nature of the group is of less importance. However, animals in off‐show enclosures had higher salivary and fecal cortisol levels than individuals housed on‐show. We suggest that large on‐show enclosures with permanent access to off‐exhibit areas may compensate for the effects of visitor disturbance, and a larger number of tamarins of the same species housed close together may explain the higher cortisol levels found in tamarins living in off‐show accommodation, but further research is needed.
    • The importance of research applicability

      McLennan, Krista M.; University of Chester (The Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy, 2019-06-30)
      Marino & Merskin’s (2019) review contains key information about the complexity of sheep and their intelligence level, but lacks practical application. The key to making any long-term changes to sheep welfare at an industry level is by generating research that is practically relevant to the sector. The practical application of research should be considered at the design stage and in consultation with producers. Additionally, thought needs to be given to how the practical application of the research will be transferred to those people directly involved in animal care (e.g. producers, stockpersons, etc.). Focusing on the practical relevance and application of research at all stages of the process will foster changes to long-held beliefs and attitudes.
    • Conceptual and methodological issues relating to pain assessment in mammals: the development and utilisation of pain facial expression scales.

      McLennan, Krista M.; Miller, Amy, L.; Dalla Costa, Emanuela; Stucke, Diana; Corke, Murray J.; Broom, Donald M.; Leach, Matthew C.; University of Chester; Newcastle University; c Università degli Studi di Milano; Havelland Equine Clinic; University of Cambridge (Elsevier, 2019-06-12)
      Effective management of pain is critical to the improvement of animal welfare. For this to happen, pain must be recognised and assessed in a variety of contexts. Pain is a complex phenomenon, making reliable, valid, and feasible measurement challenging. The use of facial expressions as a technique to assess pain in non-verbal human patients has been widely utilised for many years. More recently this technique has been developed for use in a number of non-human species: rodents, rabbits, ferrets, cats, sheep, pigs and horses. Facial expression scoring has been demonstrated to provide an effective means of identifying animal pain and in assessing its severity, overcoming some of the limitations of other measures for pain assessment in animals. However, there remain limitations and challenges to the use of facial expression as a welfare assessment tool which must be investigated. This paper reviews current facial expression pain scales (“Grimace Scales"), discussing the general conceptual and methodological issues faced when assessing pain, and highlighting the advantages of using facial expression scales over other pain assessment methods. We provide guidance on how facial expression scales should be developed so as to be valid and reliable, but we also provide guidance on how they should be used in clinical practice.
    • In vitro cyto-toxic assessment of heavy metals and their binary mixtures on mast cell-like, rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-2H3) cells

      Eze, Chukwuebuka T.; Michelangeli, Francesco; Otitoloju, Adebayo A.; University of Chester, University of Lagos, Nigeria, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Nigeria (Elsevier, 2019-02-11)
      We investigated the cytotoxicity and mechanisms of cell death induced by salts of Cadmium (Cd2+), Lead (Pb2+), Arsenic (AsO4 3−) and Chromium (Cr+6) on RBL-2H3 cells (a model mast cell line). In addition, cyto-toxic effect on cell viability was assessed to reveal their nature of interaction in binary mixture. The individual cytotoxic characteristics of these metals on RBL-2H3 cell viability showed a concentration- dependent reduction of cell viability. We observed that concentration-dependent cytotoxic potency on RBL-2H3 cells of these metals range in the following order Cd2+>Cr+6>As O4 3−>Pb2+ with LC50 values of 0.11 μM, 93.58 μM, 397.9 μM and 485.3 μM respectively. Additive effects were observed with Pb2+ + Cd2+, Pb2+ + AsO4 3−, Pb2+ + Cr+6 and AsO4 3− + Cr+6. The study revealed that Pb2+, Cd2+, AsO4 3− and Cr+6 could induce significant (P<0.01) cell death by apoptosis in RBL-2H3. Highly significant necrotic cell death was observed with Pb2+ and Cr+6 (P<0.01) than Cd2+ and AsO4 3− (P<0.05). Overall, it can be deduced that several cell death executing pathways may be concomitantly activated on exposure to heavy metals and the predominance of one over others might depend on the type of heavy metal, concentration and the metabolic state of the cell. Eventually, binary mixtures of some of these metals showed less cytotoxicity than would be expected from their individual actions and may depend on the co-exposure of the metal ions and their modes of action.
    • Ida Slater: A Collection Researcher in a Male World at the Beginning of the 20th Century

      Sendino, Consuelo; Ducker, Erik; Burek, Cynthia V. (SAGE Publications, 2019-06-27)
      Ida Lilian Slater (1881-1969) was one of the first women to work as a geologist in a male world, and although her career was short, she made important contributions to the Early Palaeozoic of Wales and Scotland. Her main work was based on a collection of a group of fossil scypho-zoan polyps gathered not by her but by another significant woman, Elizabeth Anderson, widely known as Mrs. Robert Gray (1831-1924). The majority of this collection is kept at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London, and the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge. She worked in the former one for two years describing species and comparing specimens for her monograph on British conulariids. Although her work was based not only on this group, she will be remembered by her important contribution to the conulariids through collections. The NHM collection is considered the best in the world in terms of diversity and the second best in its number of specimens, while the Sedgwick Museum has a smaller collection that is still considered the second best in diversity and number of specimens in the United Kingdom. Her work has been cited for more than 100 years and continues to be cited to this day by researchers on this group of fossils.
    • The effect of rainfall upon the behaviour and use of under-road culverts in four amphibian species

      Gleeson, Timothy; Petrovan, Silviu; Muir, Anna P.; University of Chester (Oxford Academic, 2019-04-29)
      Habitat fragmentation and road mortalities are major contributors towards declines in amphibian populations. This has seen the introduction of culverts, passages that run under roads and provide safe passage for amphibians. Research investigating the effects of rainfall upon amphibian culvert use is limited. This study, conducted at Frankfield Loch in Glasgow, assesses how time elapsed since rainfall influences migration behaviour and the use of culverts across four different species; common toads (Bufo bufo), common frogs (Rana temporaria and newts, a group composed of smooth newts (Lissotriton vulgaris) and palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). Analysis of images taken by a custom made, time lapse camera found that significantly fewer common toads (r = 0.148, n = 468, p = 0.001) and common frogs (r = −0.175, n = 106, p = 0.037) used the culvert as time since rainfall increased. This may have been caused by the culvert not maintaining wet enough conditions for amphi- bians. The study also found that more newts (r = 0.272, n = 92, p = 0.004) and common toads (r = 0.531, n = 19, p = 0.010) were using the culvert to move away from Frankfield Loch as time since rainfall increased. An increase in juvenile newts was also observed as time since rainfall increased (r = 0.214, n = 92, p = 0.020). This may have been caused by a decrease in baro- metric pressure, which follows a decrease in rainfall, acting as a cue for migration and juvenile dispersal. The study recom- mends careful consideration of the design of each culvert, incorporating species-specific preferences and the requirements of juveniles. The study also suggests that where possible the culvert should be designed to hold water for longer.
    • Development of an Automated Pain Facial Expression Detection System for Sheep (Ovis Aries).

      McLennan, Krista M.; Mahmoud, Marwa; University of Chester; University of Cambridge (MDPI, 2019-04-25)
      Detecting signs of pain in sheep is a challenging problem, as they are a prey species and would usually try to hide any signs that they are unwell or injured. This means that treating ill or injured sheep and preventing any further spread of contagious diseases such as footrot can be slow. The recent development and publication of a Sheep Pain Facial Expression Scale (SPFES) has provided a tool to reliably detect pain in this species. However, due to the increase in intensification in farming and larger flock sizes being cared for by individual farmers, there is less time to spend monitoring sheep for changes in behaviour that may indicate illness or injury. Having an automated system that could detect changes in the facial expression of individual sheep would mean that farmers could receive information directly about particular individuals that need assessment. This would allow treatment to be provided in a timely and direct manner, reducing suffering. We have been developing the SPFES further in order for it to become an automated system. In this paper, we present our novel framework that integrates SPFES concepts with automatic facial expression analysis technologies.
    • Recognising the potential role of native ponies in conservation management

      Stanley, Christina R.; Fraser, Marecia; Hegarty, Matt; University of Chester; Aberystwyth University (Elsevier, 2019-04-28)
      Population control of feral horses has been the subject of public debate in many parts of the world in recent years due to wide-reaching ecological and societal impacts. However, the feral populations in these high-profile cases are not ‘native’ but are instead descended from animals which escaped from or were released by settlers. This paper considers i) the potential role of indigenous equids as conservation grazers within native ecosystems currently in poor condition, and ii) the value of supporting semi-wild native ponies specifically. We argue that the high ecological overlap between ponies and cattle reported in a range of studies means that they should be considered as alternative tools for conservation management, particularly in scenarios where there is a need to reduce the dominance of plant species avoided by more-selective small ruminants such as sheep. Semi-wild ponies could be particularly suited to conservation grazing because their genomes have been predominately shaped by natural and not artificial selection, meaning they may have adaptations no longer present in domesticated equids. With agricultural and environmental policy in the EU and UK under major review, it is anticipated that the wider delivery of public goods, rather than primary production, will be prioritised under future subsidy payment schemes. Recognising the value of native ponies as conservation grazers would broaden the range of routes by which land managers could achieve biodiversity gain, while simultaneously supporting at-risk equine genotypes.
    • Camera Traps Confirm the Presence of the White-naped Mangabey Cercocebus lunulatus in Cape Three Points Forest Reserve, Western Ghana

      Stanley, Christina R.; Nolan, Ryan; Welsh, Adam; Dempsey, Andrea; Mono, Joseph Cudjoe; Osei, David; Hartley, Matt; Geary, Matthew; University of Chester; West African Primate Conservation Action; The Forestry Commission of Ghana; Zoo and Wildlife Solutions Ltd (IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, 2019)
      The white-naped mangabey Cercocebus lunulatus is severely threatened by logging, mining, and hunting. In the last decade, wild populations have been confirmed in just three forested areas in Ghana and a handful of sites in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Sightings of this species were recently reported in a fourth area in Ghana, the Cape Three Points Forest Reserve, a forest patch in western Ghana, 60 km from the nearest recorded wild population, which is in the Ankasa Conservation Area. We deployed 14 camera traps across 21 different locations throughout the reserve, with the intention of confirming the presence of this species. Images of the white-naped mangabey were captured at four locations, consolidating recent evidence for a fourth sub-population of this species in Ghana and providing only the second-ever photograph of a wild member of this species in the country. We observed evidence of numerous illegal anthropogenic activities in the reserve, which threaten these mangabeys, and we make recommendations for the protection of the reserve, essential for the conservation of this highly endangered species.
    • Isoform-specific Ras signaling is growth factor dependent

      Hood, Fiona E.; Klinger, Bertram; Newlaczyl, Anna U.; Sieber, Anja; Dorel, Mathurin; Oliver, Simon P.; Coulson, Judy M.; Bluthgen, Nils; Prior, Ian A.; University of Liverpool; Universitätsmedizin Berlin; University of Chester (ASCB, 2019-04-11)
      HRAS, NRAS and KRAS isoforms are almost identical proteins that are ubiquitously expressed and activate a common set of effectors. In vivo studies have revealed that they are not biologically redundant; however, the isoform-specificity of Ras signaling remains poorly understood. Using a novel panel of isogenic SW48 cell lines endogenously expressing wild type or G12V mutated activated Ras isoforms we have performed a detailed characterization of endogenous isoform-specific mutant Ras signaling. We find that despite displaying significant Ras activation, the downstream outputs of oncogenic Ras mutants are minimal in the absence of growth factor inputs. The lack of mutant KRAS-induced effector activation observed in SW48 cells appears to be representative of a broad panel of colon cancer cell lines harboring mutant KRAS. For MAP kinase pathway activation in KRAS mutant cells, the requirement for co-incident growth factor stimulation occurs at an early point in the Raf activation cycle. Finally, we find that Ras isoform-specific signaling was highly context dependent and did not conform to the dogma derived from ectopic expression studies.
    • Integrating role-play with case study and carbon footprint monitoring: A transformative approach to enhancing learners' behaviour for a more sustainable environment

      Oliver, Simon P.; University of Chester (Look Acedemic Publishers, 2016-05-01)
      Educators have long used role-play to encourage a significant shift in learner perspective, and the social and cognitive benefits of this active learning tool are well documented. Although the use of role-play has been encouraged as a transformative approach to challenge the worldview of individual learners in the context of environmental education, the efficacy of its application as a direct means to enhance learners’ behavior towards the environment has not been previously investigated. In this study role-play simulations were integrated with case study to expose learners to some of the socioscientific issues that typically arise from environmental debate. Learners were separated into groups representing the interests of parties that typically negotiate environmental affairs in real world scenarios (conservationists, scientists, politicians, NGOs, stakeholders), and tasked with preparing role-play simulations using a variety of flipped learning techniques. Learners’ carbon footprints were monitored pre and post intervention, and CO2 emission scores were used as a proxy for their behaviour towards the environment. Five role-play simulations were run overall. These were integrated with case studies associated with fisheries issues, and climate change. Anonymous participant surveys indicated that learners responded positively to the intervention, and participants’ CO2 emission scores improved significantly (T1,59 = 2.723, p = 0.009). In the context of environmental sciences, learners that engage in the integrated role-play and case study approach may benefit from flipped learning techniques to prepare their simulations, and gain confidence from self-actualising moments of achievement when they realise an improvement in their environmental behaviour.
    • Risk and resilience: high stakes for sharks making transjurisdictional movements to use a conservation area.

      Oliver, Simon P.; Grothues, Thomas; Williams, Amie; Cerna, Voltaire; Silvosa, Medel; Cases, Gary; Reed, Matthew; Christopher, Simon; University of Chester; Rutgers University Marine Field Station; Scotish National Heritage; The Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project; Divelink Cebu; Evolution Dive Resort; Scubazoo (Elsevier, 2018-12-18)
      Oceanic sharks are vulnerable to overexploitation due to their life-history strategies, and declines in their populations are well documented. While it is clear that pelagic sharks are often subjected to uncontrolled fishing for their meat and valuable fins, a lack of empirical knowledge, and transboundary jurisdictional issues have stalled many initiatives to protect them in the wild. Alopiids, including pelagic thresher sharks, are important to Asian fisheries, but the extent to which they are exploited in the Philippines is unknown. We fitted 14 pelagic thresher sharks with acoustic tags, and monitored their fine scale lateral movements near a seamount in the Central Visayas where their regular occurrence is prized as a tourism enterprise. Pelagic thresher sharks used a specific corridor to move away from the seamount after early morning visits to cleaner wrasse. Long range dispersals occurred at a mean rate of 3.79 ± 1.43 km h-1 and were attributed to foraging behavior. Daily foraging expeditions led pelagic thresher sharks to potentially venture across the jurisdictional waters of five provincial territories even when they regularly returned to the seamount. Thresher sharks preferred specific locations on the seamount where they interact with cleaner fish. While the seamount offers cleaner associated services and refuge provision for these rare and elusive sharks, disconnects between habitual predator and prey localizations are likely to increase their vulnerability to pressure from large scale fisheries that operate in the area.
    • Recovery of high mountain Alpine lakes after the eradication of introduced brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis using non-chemical methods

      Tiberti, Rocco; Bogliani, Giuseppe; Brighenti, Stefano; Iacobuzio, Rocco; Liautaud, Kevin; Rolla, Matteo; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Bassano, Bruno; University of Pavia; Gran Paradiso National Park; University of Trento; Fondazione Edmund Mach; Swansea University; University of Chester (Springer, 2018-10-31)
      Fish stocking is a serious threat to originally fishless mountain lakes. We used non-chemical eradication methods (i.e. gillnetting and electrofishing) in four high mountain lakes in the Gran Paradiso National Park (Western Italian Alps) to eradicate alien brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis. Data of amphibians, macroinvertebrates, zooplankton, chlorophyll-a, nutrient concentrations, and water transparency were used as indicators of the recovery process. All treated lakes were returned to their original fishless condition in spite of their different sizes and habitat complexity, without permanent negative side-effects for native species. Several ecological indicators showed that many impacts of introduced fish can be reversed over a short time period following eradication. The present study adds to a still growing body of specialized literature on the recovery of habitats after the eradication of alien species and provides further evidence that physical eradication methods are effective and can be part of a more general strategy for the conservation of high mountain lake biota.
    • One strategy doesn’t fit all: determinants of urban adaptation in mammals

      Santini, Luca; González‐Suárez, Manuela; Russo, Danilo; Gonzalez‐Voyer, Alejandro; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Ancillotto, Leonardo; Radboud University; University of Reading; University of Napoli; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; University of Chester (Wiley, 2018-12-20)
      Urbanisation exposes wildlife to new challenging conditions and environmental pressures. Somemammalian species have adapted to these novel environments, but it remains unclear which char-acteristics allow them to persist. To address this question, we identified 190 mammals regularlyrecorded in urban settlements worldwide, and used phylogenetic path analysis to test hypothesesregarding which behavioural, ecological and life history traits favour adaptation to urban environ-ments for different mammalian groups. Our results show that all urban mammals produce largerlitters; whereas other traits such as body size, behavioural plasticity and diet diversity were impor-tant for some but not all taxonomic groups. This variation highlights the idiosyncrasies of theurban adaptation process and likely reflects the diversity of ecological niches and roles mammalscan play. Our study contributes towards a better understanding of mammal association tohumans, which will ultimately allow the design of wildlife-friendly urban environments and con-tribute to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.
    • Tspan18 is a novel regulator of the Ca2+ channel Orai1 and von Willebrand factor release in endothelial cells.

      Noy, Peter J.; Gavin, Rebecca L.; Colombo, Dario; Haining, Elizabeth J.; Reyat, Jasmeet S.; Payne, Holly; Thielmann, Ina; Lokman, Adam B.; Neag, Georgiana; Yang, Jing; et al. (2018-12-20)
      Ca entry via Orai1 store-operated Ca channels in the plasma membrane is critical to cell function, and Orai1 loss causes severe immunodeficiency and developmental defects. The tetraspanins are a superfamily of transmembrane proteins that interact with specific partner proteins and regulate their trafficking and clustering. The aim of this study was to functionally characterize tetraspanin Tspan18. We show that Tspan18 is expressed by endothelial cells at several-fold higher levels than most other cell types analyzed. Tspan18-knockdown primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells have 55-70% decreased Ca mobilization upon stimulation with the inflammatory mediators thrombin or histamine, similar to Orai1-knockdown. Tspan18 interacts with Orai1, and Orai1 cell surface localization is reduced by 70% in Tspan18-knockdown endothelial cells. Tspan18 over-expression in lymphocyte model cell lines induces 20-fold activation of Ca -responsive NFAT signaling, in an Orai1-dependent manner. Tspan18-knockout mice are viable. They lose on average 6-fold more blood in a tail-bleed assay. This is due to Tspan18 deficiency in non-hematopoietic cells, as assessed using chimeric mice. Tspan18-knockout mice have 60% reduced thrombus size in a deep vein thrombosis model, and 50% reduced platelet deposition in the microcirculation following myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury. Histamine- or thrombin-induced von Willebrand factor release from endothelial cells is reduced by 90% following Tspan18-knockdown, and histamine-induced increase of plasma von Willebrand factor is reduced by 45% in Tspan18-knockout mice. These findings identify Tspan18 as a novel regulator of endothelial cell Orai1/Ca signaling and von Willebrand factor release in response to inflammatory stimuli. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2018, Ferrata Storti Foundation.]
    • Recapture rates and habitat associations of White-faced Darter Leucorhinnia dubia on Fenn's and Whixall Moss, Shropshire, UK

      Davies, Rachel; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Geary, Matthew; Conservation Biology Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Chester, CH1 4BJ (British Dragonfly Society, 2018-10-01)
      Land-use change and habitat loss are important drivers of biodiversity decline at both global and local scales. To protect species from the impacts of land-use change it is important to understand the population dynamics and habitat associations across these scales. Here we present an investigation into the survival and habitat preferences of Leucorrhinia dubia at the local scale at Fenn’s and Whixall Moss, Shropshire, UK. We used mark-release-recapture methods to investigate survival and used sightings of individual dragonflies along with habitat data to investigate habitat preference. We found that survival between capture-visits was very low and that L. dubia showed a clear preference for the open moss habitat on this site. In both cases, we found that the detectability, either through sightings or recaptures, was potentially very low and suggest that this should be taken into account in future analyses. We suggest that by encouraging recorders to submit complete lists and to repeat visits to sites detectability could be easily estimated for dragonfly species and incorporating this into analyses would improve estimates fo population trends and habitat associations.
    • Chapter Ten: Handling and Restraint of Small Ruminants

      McLennan, Krista M.; Chapman, Stella; University of Chester; University Centre Hartpury (Wiley, 2017-11-03)
      Sheep (Ovis aries) were one of the first mammals to be domesticated by humans; however the exact timeline of events has been unclear. The use of mitochondrial DNA testing has recently made it possible to trace back the ancestry of many animals including cattle, horses, pigs and goats and evidence suggests that the number of wild progenitors for these species is limited; however, with the sheep this is not the case and it is thought that a large number of wild ancestral species and subspecies exist (Hiendleder et al. 2002). Archaeological findings have traced the sheep back to 11000 and 9000 BC in Mesopotamia, with the most common hypothesis being that Ovis aries descended from the Asiatic (Ovis orientalis) species of mouflon. Many studies have looked at the ancestry of sheep and there has been conflicting evidence with regards to the numbers of ancestors. It is now thought that three major groups of Eurasian wild sheep (mouflon, urial and argali) are the ancestors of the domestic sheep and it is these groups that are believed to have contributed to specific breeds (Hiendleder et al. 2002).
    • Chapter Twelve: Handling and Restraint of South American Camelids

      McLennan, Krista M.; Chapman, Stella; University of Chester; University Centre Hartpury (Wiley, 2018-01-01)
      Members of the camelid family evolved to live in arid and mountainous areas. This chapter will focus on what are known as the New World species of camelid, whose habitat mainly covers the Andes regions of South America. Four camelids can be found in South America, namely: Guanacos (Lama guanicoe), vicunas (Lama vicugna), llamas (Lama guanicoe glama) and alpacas (Vicugna pacos). The two wild forms, the guanaco and the vicuna diverged from a common ancestor approximately two million years ago; an event unrelated to domestication. Due to hybridisation the exact process of domestication has been controversial; however, recent genetic analysis has suggested that the alpaca is the domesticated form of the vicuna and the llama is the domesticated form of the guanaco (Kadwell et al. 2001). Domestication is thought to have taken place some 6000 years ago (Wheeler, 1995) when a predominant herding economy based on llama and alpaca was established at Telarmachay (a region of the Peruvian Andes). Archaeological evidence suggests that both llamas and alpacas were part of a sacrificial rite in South American culture and were key to the expansion of the Inca Empire some 500 years ago (Bonacic, 2011). Physically (apart from size) there is little difference between the llama and alpaca, which is a result of deliberate hybridisation between the two species over the past 35 years. Whilst the alpaca and llama still play an important role in their countries of origin, they are also viewed worldwide as: pets, exotic animals, livestock, zoo animals and wild animals.
    • ‘Regurgitation and reingestion’ (R/R) in great apes: A review of current knowledge

      Hill, Sonya, P.; University of Chester; University of Cambridge (Wiley, 2018-08-02)
      Research indicates that regurgitation and reingestion (R/R) is a relatively common behaviour in zoo-housed great apes, with most work to date carried out on Western lowland gorillas Gorilla gorilla gorilla and Chimpanzees Pan troglodytes. It is an abnormal behaviour because great apes are not anatomically adapted to regurgitate their food as part of their normal feeding processes, and because this behaviour is not seen in members of the species living freely in the wild, in conditions that would allow a full behavioural range. In this article, I give an overview of the published literature on R/R in great apes, which suggests that this behaviour is probably multifactorial and may be linked to inappropriate feeding environments (e.g. in terms of nutritional composition of the diet and/or presentation of food), and possibly also social and other factors as well. A similar behaviour to R/R, known as rumination disorder, can also occur in another great ape species, humans, in whom it is classified as a feeding and eating disorder, and there are potential consequences to people’s physical health as a result of oral acid. There have been no known studies to date to identify whether or not similar health consequences can occur in non-human great apes, but the regurgitant has been found to be significantly more acidic in gorillas than the food they ingested originally, meaning it is potentially injurious in non-human great apes. There is much that is not yet known about this behaviour and how to reduce or eliminate it when it does occur, as the research indicates that there are a range of factors involved, and these can vary by individual animal. More research into this behaviour is clearly needed to ensure that zoos and sanctuaries are providing the best possible care for these animals, and I make some suggestions for future research directions.