Date of Award


Honors Thesis Number




Faculty Advisor

Waring, George H.


Stereotypies have many causes and contributing factors. Often overlooked is the importance of social and environmental factors such as weather, pen design, social interaction, feeds and feeding schedule, and early childhood experiences. These factors are overlooked in favor of more concrete and testable factors such as size of the animal, pen size, age, sex, and health. This research revealed the importance of social and environmental factors in interpreting the causes of stereotypy in one captive spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) at the St. Louis Zoo. Observational data collection was employed to attempt to gather data supporting the influence of these factors. An ethogram was constructed to aid in data collection. Observation occurred on 10 days between June and November 1998. Data were then interpreted with the aid of statistical software. Arithmetic means were calculated and employed as a means of comparing one abnormal individual to two normal bears. The stereotypies, pacing and grooming genitals, varied with time of day and other conditions. Evidence seemed to support cage design and early childhood experiences, with slight contributions from feeding methods, animal size, and sex, as the main causes of stereotypy in this bear.