"How not to judge a deer by its cover”: A personality assessment study on captive adult red deer males (Cervus elaphus)
Personality has been documented in a wide range of organisms, but it is still poorly understood in Cervids. Our aim is to investigate personality in 11 captive and tame male red deer, exploring its links to dominance hierarchy. Using questionnaires to assess personality, 3 trained volunteers rated the animals in 15 behaviorally-composed adjectives, based on their overall impression at the end of the observation period. Behavioral data were collected across 3 different situations, namely feeding (high competition for a scarce resource), normal (no external stimuli), and handling (stressful situation due to human manipulation).
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