EnrichBits: The Office

EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment

So, I was up on the 3rd floor of the museum the other day, where all of our accounting and business operations people work. As I’m walking through, I spot some old office accordion folders in their recycle bin. I grabbed as many as I could carry downstairs; they had to be good for some kind of enrichment! I decided the bears might like to tear them up while looking for bits of food within the “bellows”.

A keeper always has to be on the lookout for random materials ( better if they are reused!) that might make a neat toy or puzzle for one of our animals. Of course, you have to make sure it’s something that’s been approved by our vet, (our bears can have cardboard and paper to rip up) and you have to use some common sense—are there tape or staples that need to be pulled out? Could anyone get their head stuck? What if they ingested a little? Should it not be something with food on it? Do we have enough to go around, or could the bears potentially fight over it?

These accordion folders got the pass, and even though we are well into the cold months where the bears aren’t all that active here’s how it went:

Set up in the yard:

Gus gets to them first:

Even though bears aren’t that hungry (tis the season to leave undesirable foods like carrot), it is still interesting to tear things up!

Thanks to Debbie, Pam, Åsa, and Laura for some good recycled enrichment!

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