Date of Submission

Spring 2015

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Sarah Dunphy Lelii

Abstract/Artist's Statement

The goal of the present proposal was to design a cognitive enrichment program to reduce stereotypy and physiological signs of stress in captive orcas (Orcinus orca). This intervention consists of an object discrimination and retrieval task, and was designed to simulate orcas’ behavioral need of hunting. Seaworld’s three parks were used as locations for each of the group conditions: the Intervention Group, the Increased Training Group, and the Control Group. The hypothesized results demonstrate that the Intervention Group will show the smallest amount of stereotypic behavior at each interval of the experiment and that stereotypic behavior has a strong, positive correlation with blood serum cortisol levels, a physiological measure of stress.

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Open Access

Creative Commons License

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