This book is a behaviour-based approach to captive bear management. It provides a comprehensive guide to the evolutionary, physical and psychological needs of the eight bear species, combining data from wildlife ecologists, captive institutions and research facilities to promote the best-practice management of bears in captivity. The initial chapters offer a rationale for a behaviour-based approach, examining the habitat, behaviour and ecology of bear species in the wild, and their traditional management in captive environments. The authors discuss the benefits and drawbacks of various captive management systems, dispel common myths troubleshoot specific problems, and promote an evidence-based, best-practice approach to successfully managing these challenging species in captive environments.
Dr Heather Bacon, Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach Manager, Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Dr Bacon is the Veterinary Welfare Education and Outreach manager at the University of Edinburgh's Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education, a position co-funded by Animals Asia. She lectures on captive wildlife welfare issues, and has worked with the FVE and European Commission to develop continuing education on captive wildlife welfare in Europe. She is a Director of the Bear Care Group, an international bear management organisation which holds conferences to improve the care and management of captive bears around the world. Previously she was the Veterinary Director at the Animals Asia Foundation. In addition to her veterinary degree, she holds a BSc (Hons) in Conservation Medicine and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon’s Postgraduate Certificate in Zoological Medicine.
Else Poulsen, Founding Director and lead consultant, Behavioural & Environmental Solutions, Ontario, Canada. Else Poulsen first worked in animal behaviour as a field biologist in Alberta's oil patch. She became an entry level zookeeper at the Calgary Zoo working with a wide variety of animal species. Over time she specialized in captive bear behaviour, husbandry, and management. After eighteen years at the Calgary Zoo, she went on to manage at the Detroit Zoo, and then several bear specialist facilities in Canada. As the founding director and lead consultant for Behavioural & Environmental Solutions she provides expertise on modernizing bear husbandry methods, environmental enrichment programming, and enclosure design and redesign to zoos, sanctuaries, rehabilitation facilities, and animal welfare groups around the world. She has over forty publications including journals and three books.
Jason Pratte, Vice President and a Founding Director of the Bear Care Group, Michigan, USA. Jason Pratte has been an animal caregiver for over two decades, and has worked with all eight extant bear species. His specialty is on complex medical behaviours. In the past several years Jason has been training animal keepers and caregivers around the world in operant conditioning techniques. One of these work experiences at the Chengdu Panda Reproduction Base in China was featured on Animal Planet's Growing Up Panda. Jason is on the American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) National Behavioural Management Committee and also the AAZK Grants Committee. He has published several peer-reviewed papers on developing training and emergency response skills. He has published extensively in technical journals and is the editor of the monthly column Training Tales in the Animal Keepers' Forum; the professional journal of zookeeping for the American Association of Zookeepers.