The Zoochosis documentary aims to provide you with the whole picture of how animals experience living in an unnatural and stressful environment, and the way in which it affects their mental health.
Animal species have evolved over many years and their physical, physiological, social and behavioural traits have been developed in order for them to survive as best as they can in their natural environment. In captivity, animals may face a number of challenges which evolution has not prepared them for and this disables the animal to fulfil their behavioural needs. The absence of these, climate, diet, the size and characteristics of their enclosure or the fact that they have to rely on humans for their every need can cause an animal to feel stressed in which it starts to perform a stereotypic behaviour.
Of course, everyone has stress. And while humans can have stress, it usually doesn’t mean that their welfare is in jeopardy, partly because humans can remove themselves from stressful situations and have things to look forward too. For the most part, animals live in the present—if their present is a caged enclosure, then that is a stressful existence from which they can never escape.
Repetitive, abnormal behaviour is often regarded as an indicator of poor welfare and is studied as a coping mechanism and measures of stress which can potentially go on to cause brain dysfunction.