Yvonne Owen, Writtle College funded PhD student, has recently received a donation of £500 from the Friends of Paradise Wildlife Park (FoPWP) to support her multi-zoo PhD research.
FoPWP is a registered charity based at the Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire. The charity is run by volunteers and the FoPWP raise funds for animal-based projects worldwide such as Yvonne’s study and as well as the Born Free Foundation, the EAZA Amphibian Ark Campaign, the World Land Trust Brazilian Reserve and many others.
For her PhD studies Yvonne will be investigating the nature and effect of keeper-animal relationships on the behaviour and physiology of captive cheetahs and snow leopards.
When discussing her choice of research Yvonne said: “Unlike snow leopards, which are considered to thrive in captivity, captive cheetahs are susceptible to both health and reproductive issues. It is hoped that my study will increase our understanding of human-animal relationships in zoos and improve the welfare of these captive felids."
Yvonne is a graduate from the BSc (Hons) Animal Science programme at Writtle College. Her dissertation from her honours degree ‘Softly, softly, catchy monkey’ was presented at both the Great British Primate Society winter conference and the Annual Student Welfare Conference.