Heini Hediger

Heini HedigerIn existographies, Heini Hediger (1908-1992) was a Swiss zoologist, noted for []

Overview
In 1934, Hediger, in his “On the Biology and Psychology of Flight in Animals”, was speaking about “flight reactions” and “critical reactions” of big cats. [1]

In 1955, Hediger, in his The Psychology of Animals in Zoos and Circuses, described these as such: [2]

“According to the definition, ‘flight reaction’ occurs in every wild animal, or in an animal adapted to captivity, whenever man approaches to within the characteristic flight distance of that animal. In addition to this fundamental possibility of driving the new wild animal away to any desired point by releasing its flight reaction, the tamer has another basic possibility, of drawing the animal towards him from any point by releasing its so-called ‘critical reaction’ [see: attack reaction]. This occurs whenever the man approaches a wild animal (or one accustomed to captivity), which is prevented from escape, to a distance less than its characteristic ‘critical distance’. In the case of the big cats, this distance plays an exceedingly important part, is fixed, and may be determined to within centimeters. The critical reaction consists of a change from flight to attack, never with the character of an active offensive, but always of a defensive, emergency nature.”
— Heini Hediger (1955), The Psychology of Animals in Zoos and Circuses (pgs. 123-24)

Flight or Fight reactions
An annotated photo of of how Hediger illustrates the two alternative reactions: attack reaction or flight reaction, which he says can be measured to the centimeter. [2]
In commentary on these, he says:

“In practical use of the ‘flight reaction’ in the ring (top photo), by simple infringement of the flight distance, valid for the actual situation by the trainer, the lion can be driven from his ‘place’ to any desired point in the ring. In practical use of the ‘critical reaction’ in the ring (bottom photo), by infringement of the critical distance, valid for the actual situation, by the trainer or his ‘extension’, e.g. the whiplash, i.e. by carefully calculated provocation of defense actions, the animal can be maneuvered to any desired point in the ring.”
— Heini Hediger (1955), The Psychology of Animals in Zoos and Circuses (pg. 112)

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References
1. (a) Hediger, Heini. (1934). “On the Biology and Psychology of Flight in Animals” (“Zur Biologie und Psychologie der Flucht bei Tieren.), Biol. Zentralbl. Vol. 54, pp. 21-40.
(b) Hediger, Heini. (1955). The Psychology of Animals in Zoos and Circuses (Skizzen zu einer Tierpsychologie im Zoo und im Zirkus) (photo, pg. 112; critical reaction, pgs. 123-24). Dover, 1968.
2. Hediger, Heini. (1955). The Psychology of Animals in Zoos and Circuses (Skizzen zu einer Tierpsychologie im Zoo und im Zirkus) (photo, pg. 112; critical reaction, pgs. 123-24). Dover, 1968.

Publications
● Hediger, Heini. (1934). “On the Biology and Psychology of Flight in Animals” (“Zur Biologie und Psychologie der Flucht bei Tieren.), Biol. Zentralbl. Vol. 54, pp. 21-40.
● Hediger, Heini. (1935). Zur Biologie und Psychologie der Zahmheit. Arch. ges. Psychol. Vol. 93, pp. 135-188
● Hediger, Heini. (1935). Zirkusdressuren und Tierpsychologie. Rev. Suisse Zool. Vol. 42, pp. 389-394
● Hediger, Heini. (1937). Die Bedeutung der Flucht im Leben des Tieres und in der Beurteilung tierischen Verhaltens im Experiment. Die Naturwiss. Vol. 25, pp. 185-188
● Hediger, Heini. (1938). Ergebnisse tierpsychologischer Forschung im Zirkus. Die Naturwiss. Vol. 26, pp. 242-252
● Hediger, Heini. (1938). Tierpsychologie und Haustierforschung. Zs. Tierpsych. Vol. 2, pp. 29-46
● Hediger, Heini. (1941). Biologische Gesetzmassigkeiten im Verhalten von Wirbeltieren. Mitt. Naturf. Ges. Bern (1940)
● Hediger, Heini. (1946). Mause und Menschen. Schweiz. Annalen, Vol. 3, pp. 103-106
● Hediger, Heini. (1946). Zur psychologischen Bedeutung des Hirschgeweihs. Verb, Schweiz. Naturf. Ges. Zurich, pp. 162-163
● Hediger, Heini. (1950). La Capture des elephants au Parc National de la Garamba. Bull. Inst. Royal Col. Beige. Vol. 21, pp. 218-226
● Hediger, Heini. (1950). Wild animals in captivity. An outline of the biology of Zoological Gardens. London
● Hediger, Heini. (1951). Jagdzoologie—auch far Nichtjager. Basle
● Hediger, Heini. (1951a). Observations sur la Psychologie Animate dans les Pares Nationaux du Congo Beige. Institut des Pares Nationaux du Congo Beige. Brussells
● Hediger, Heini. (1951b). Grundsatzliches zum tierpsychologischen Test. Ciba Zs. No. 125
● Hediger, Heini. (1952). Seltene tropische Tiere and ihre Haltung in Zoologischen Garten Nordamerikas. Acta Tropica, Vol. 9, pp. 97-124
● Hediger, Heini. (1952) Dressurversuche mit Deiphinen. Zs. f. Tierpsych. Vol. 9, pp. 321-328
● Hediger, Heini. (1955). The Psychology of Animals in Zoos and Circuses (Skizzen zu einer Tierpsychologie im Zoo und im Zirkus). Dover, 1968.

External links
Heini Hediger – Wikipedia.

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