The Response of Captive Ostrich (Struthio camelus) to Visitor Group Size and Activity at the Accra Zoological Garden in Ghana

Evans E. Nkrumah, Nicholas C. Clerk


Zoo visitors interact with captive animals in diverse ways of which some may affect the behaviour of the animal positively or negatively. This study investigated the responses of captive ostriches to visitor group size and activity at the Accra Zoo. It also explored the enclosure usage of the birds. To test the hypothesis that visitor group size and activity have no effects on the behaviour of the ostriches, instantaneous scan sampling method was employed to study the birds’ behaviour. A Generalized Linear Model indicated that visitor group size has no effect on the locomotory, inactivity and threat-induced behaviours. Visitor activity however influenced threat-induced behaviour. A Chi-square test showed a uniform usage of all parts of the enclosure in the presence visitors. The study shows that visitor group activity solicits aggressive behaviours from the birds. It is recommended that, zoo visitors visit the enclosure and observe the birds in silence, avoiding verbal and non-verbal communications to prevent the exhibition of aggressive behaviour that ultimately stresses the birds out.


Behaviour; Enclosure usage; Visitor; Zoo animals

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Copyright (c) 2021 Evans E. Nkrumah, Nicholas C. Clerk

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Journal of Zoo Biology
ISSN: 2706-9761 (Online), 2706-9753 (Print)
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