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How much are elephants willing to pay for access to a shower and are they interested in making phone calls?

Sounds like strange questions, don’t they?

The thing is, that whereas wild elephants spend a lot of time bathing or spraying themselves with water, bathing behaviour in zoo elephants is often restricted to daily showering by the keepers.

And, whereas wild elephants can communicate with each other over large distances, using low frequency sounds (some of them below the range of human hearing!), zoo elephants can only communicate with the, often rather few, other members in their zoo group.

So, in this study, Bua and Saonoi, two female Asian elephants at Kolmården Wildlife Park , were offered a shower and an internet telephone to elephants at another zoo!

To assess the importance of the shower enrichment, the elephants had to lift weights to get access to it. If they lifted equally heavy weights as they did for access to food, they were supposed to be highly motivated but if they only lifted low weights, or did not lift at all, their motivation for the shower was considered low.

If you are interested, please explore this site to find out more about my project!

Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 10/15/08