Use of fluoxetine to treat stereotypical pacing behavior in a brown bear (Ursus arctos)

YALÇIN E., Aytug N.

JOURNAL OF VETERINARY BEHAVIOR-CLINICAL APPLICATIONS AND RESEARCH, vol.2, no.3, pp.73-76, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


A 12-year-old, male, brown bear (Ursus arctos) named Abdi exhibited stereotypical pacing behavior. He was kept as a pet for 10 years by local villagers, then lie was rescued and taken to the Karacabey Bear Sanctuary in July 2001. His physical condition was extremely poor. Because lie had never lived with other bears, lie was terrified and refused to integrate with them. After 6 months lie was healthy physically but observations by the keepers indicated that he was pacing all clay. He was treated With fluoxetine (0.62 mg/kg orally every 24 hours) for 6 months, and had been observed totally for 18 months. After stereotypy ceased completely, lie was transferred to the large naturalistic enclosure and did not show any stereotypical behavior during the subsequent observation period (I year). He was treated Successfully using a combination of fluoxetine, the provisioning of extra space, and the addition of novel stimulation in a naturalistic enclosure. The space and stimulation could be Sufficient to mimic the therapeutic effect of the pharmacological therapy in the long term. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.