Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Ethology of the Freed Animal: Concept, Methods, Projects

Version 1 : Received: 10 October 2017 / Approved: 16 October 2017 / Online: 16 October 2017 (05:42:33 CEST)

How to cite: Celentano, M.; Martinelli, D. Ethology of the Freed Animal: Concept, Methods, Projects. Preprints 2017, 2017100099. Celentano, M.; Martinelli, D. Ethology of the Freed Animal: Concept, Methods, Projects. Preprints 2017, 2017100099.


The present essay illustrates the methodological and theoretical premises of an emerging research area carrying out both ethological and (bio)ethical implications: the ethology of the freed animal (EFA). Unlike existing ethological fields, EFA focuses neither on non human (NH) animals in natural conditions of freedom in their own environment, nor on NH animals kept in conditions of “captivity”. Rather, EFA consists of a comparative study of NH animals that are released from a condition of more or less abusive captivity and instead relocated in an environment more appropriate to their species-specific and individual characteristics and inclinations. Ideal places for this study are contexts like “Animal sanctuaries” and parks/reserves provided with a camp or station for researchers, where a previously-captive NH animal can be reintroduced in his/her natural habitat. Even though EFA exists already, as a de facto practice of the specialized and/or volunteer personnel running sanctuaries and parks, the field still lacks a recognizable scholarly paradigm, and it is yet to be acknowledged at institutional/academic level. By consequence, one important aim for creating a field like this lies in the establishment of an active interaction between the two parties involved (researchers and sanctuaries/parks operators).


ethology; anthrozoology; semiotics; animal sanctuaries; captivity; anthropization; animal ethics; non invasive observation


Social Sciences, Behavior Sciences

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