The relationship between coping styles and responses to handling in captive guanacos (Lama guanicoe)
Zapata, Beatriz [Univ Mayor, Fac Ciencias, Escuela Biotecnol]
Riveros F, JoséLuis
Correa, Lina Maria
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the coping style response to handling of guanacos (Lama guanicoe) in captivity. This study contributes to a better understanding of the handling effect in captivity of the largest wild camelid of South America. Individual coping style response to handling was studied in 17 adult captive-bred guanacos. Handling was performed every 2 h for 24 h and serum cortisol concentration and behavioral responses were measured during the entire cycle of handling (12 times). Principal component analysis results showed three main factors: the first associated with reactive behavior (more immobility and escaping, less spitting) and the second and third associated with proactive behavior (more territorial control behaviors and less jumping). Nine animals were classified as reactive and eight as proactive, based on the highest component score attained. Mean cortisol concentration was 368.45 nmol/L in the reactive group and 155.96 nmol/L in the proactive group (p < 0.01). The lower levels of cortisol in the proactive group could indicate a higher ability to cope with adverse factors than the reactive group. An assessment of coping styles could improve the establishment of different management strategies oriented to increase animal welfare for diverse species of small ruminants in captivity.
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