EnrichBits: Keepers’ favorites

EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment

This month, we thought it’d be fun to ask around and see what the keepers enjoy best in terms of animal enrichment. “What’s your favorite enrichment to watch or give?” got these responses:

Marilyn: I really like when the bears get a box-in-a-box-in-a-box. (This is where we hide a yummy treat in a box, put that box in a bigger box, and that box in a bigger box, in order to create a bunch of layers to tear through and prolong the puzzle) Especially when popcorn’s the treat, and they’ll tear through, popcorn goes flying, and usually a bear ends up with a box on it’s head!

Kent: It’s pretty cool when we give the bears those big ice chunks in the moat and they play with them.

Erin: I like to watch how intelligent our pig is when we give him a treat in a pizza box. He can pop it open perfectly with no hands!

Cassidy: I really like to give browse ( leaves from trees) to the sheep because they get so excited. They fling their heads around and act silly. The other day, instead of putting their food in the bowls, I spread it out all over the yard, and then moved on to clean pig’s yard. When I glanced over, the sheep had found and eaten it all, and then were running around their yard head butting and acting frisky. I was pleasantly shocked!

Kristen: One of my favorites is to watch the turtles when they choose to bask under their heat lamps. I always laugh when they stretch out their back legs for maximum skin surface area getting warm.

Jill: Anything where the animals get to tear stuff up. I don’t like to clean up ripped up phone books and cardboard boxes afterwards though!

Sherry: I like to watch the bears do most anything, like leafing through piles of fresh cut tree limbs, or trying to reach sweet treats like drops of syrup and honey that have been placed high. They always try to get more than the one drop that’s coming out of our honey drippers (honey drippers are capped PVC tubes with a small hole in the bottom. Once hung from a height, they’ll slowly drip honey, so bears have to keep coming back and checking in to see if a treat awaits them)

You’ve heard some keeper favorites. What’s yours?

2 responses to EnrichBits: Keepers’ favorites

  1. Beck says:

    I used to have a Yellow-Bellied Slider and referred to that position as 'the Superman.'

  2. Wendy A says:

    I enjoyed watching two bears up in the mulberry tree last year, swaying back and forth in that little tree, cuffing each other while munching out on the mulberries!

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