Date

12-2013

Degree Name

BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration

Department

Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration Department

Advisor(s)

Brian Greenwood

Abstract

Animal theme parks are on the rise in the tourism industry. As a result, it is essential to examine the treatment procedures used for theme park animals. The purpose of this study was to investigate the best practices related to the use of animals in parks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, SeaWorld Orlando, and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. Data were collected from each company’s website and compared in a best practices matrix. Training practices in each park centered around positive reinforcement. Theme parks provided opportunities to learn about natural habitats of animals. Feeding practices for animals focused on guest enjoyment and interaction with animals. While some information was readily accessible, each park would benefit from offering more educational information about their practices regarding training, habitat, and feeding.

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