Activities and agonistic behavior of male Eastern grey kangaroos in captivity and the wild

Source: Zoo Biology, Vol 19, issue 6, 2000
The behavior of free-ranging and captive Eastern grey kangaroos, was observed by the same observers, with similar methods and under similar vegetational/climatic conditions in a zoo and in the wild.
Data were collected from a zoo group of 56 animals (a 4.2-ha enclosure at Neuwied Zoo, Germany) and a free-ranging mob of 50 to 60 animals (Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia). Male Eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) were individually identified and observed: 3 large males, 9 medium males, and 10 small males in the zoo, and 8 large, 9 medium, and about 10 small males in the National Park were present. Activities in both situations were very similarly distributed: feeding took up less time in the zoo, resting was almost similar in both situations, alert behavior was significantly different for small and medium males, locomotor activities were similar in large males and females, autogrooming occurred significantly more in the zoo only for females. Frequencies of social interactions were slightly greater for large males and females in the zoo. Agonistic behavior in males was more frequent in the zoo situation, except for ritualized fights. Sequences of agonistic behavior were more predictable in the zoo. No differences in escalation tendencies toward potentially injurious fighting could be found.

Title: Similarities and differences in activities and agonistic behavior of male Eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) in captivity and the wild

Authors: Marion Höhn, Martina Kronschnabl, Udo Gansloßer