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Carnivores in Captivity: Size of range in wild may predict risk in zoo

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9:53am, October 1, 2003

The extent of a species' home range can be used to forecast how well members of the species will adapt to captivity, according to a controversial new survey of troubled behavior in zoo animals.

"As far as I know, we're the first to test species vulnerability to welfare problems in captivity," says Ros Clubb of the University of Oxford in England. She spent 3 years examining carnivore-behavior studies from about 40 zoos. Animals with the biggest ranges, such as polar bears, tended to have the highest infant mortality and do a lot of repetitive pacing, report Clubb and her coauthor Georgia Mason.

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