It's no secret that animals held in captivity in zoos and circuses can face severe physical ailments and injuries. But what about their emotional health? According to a new book, the consequences of captivity on animals' minds can be just as impactful -- and just as damaging.
The book, titled "Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves" by Laurel Braitman, gives a deep-dive look into the minds of disturbed animals -- how they suffer, and how they recover.
Though the focus of the book is on the emotional life humans share in common with animals – both in madness and in healing -- it's a good reminder of the behaviors we see all the time in animals that are an indicator of mental health problems, whether we realize it or not.
Here are ten common obsessive behaviors (also called stereotypic behaviors), captured by the Born Free Foundation, that have been observed in captive animals and are a sign of a deeper mental illness, though we may not know it at first.
3. Swaying back and forth
4. Bar biting
7. Trunk swinging
9. Neck twisting
10. Neck twisting and pacing
Gifs: Born Free Foundation