EnrichBits: A game!

EnrichBits: A monthly (ahem)- ok, quarterly, look at animal enrichment. Sherry found this a long time ago, and it’s a really interesting way to think about enrichment. This is a game to help experiment with what goes into creating an enrichment program. Below is the scenario; what kind of enrichment plan would you come up with? Leave your suggestions in the comments section and try to remember all your categories of enrichment! The zoo recently acquired 1.0 Humans (Homo sapiens)Read more

EnrichBits: Training

EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment Kristen doing some operant conditioning with the ringtail lemurs Marilyn mentioned operant conditioning in her latest post about Gus the Bear, so I wanted to explain it a bit further. You can click here for a technical definition of operant conditioning, but it can really be summed up with one word: “training”. Training is the final big area of all those important enrichment categories (remember?…exhibit design, olfactory, visual, auditory, tactile, social, novel objects,Read more

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 aRead more

EnrichBits: Wolves

EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment Our red wolves, who are shy by nature, don’t tend to be real playful in front of large, loud groups. If you catch them one on one, towards the earlier part of the morning, you can see them moving around. Here, Keeper Katy caught them really moving. Their exhibit, designed with a lot of hilly topography and natural elements, challenges them as a wild landscape would, and is long enough side to sideRead more

EnrichBits: Max’s Monday out– part two

EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment In the last EnrichBits post, I showed Max, our steer, getting some time outside his stall and yard on a day we were closed to vistors. He got to experience many new and enriching sights, sounds, and smells while he checked out Loblolly Park (our playground). The goal is to provide new and exciting without crossing the line into stressful, so we had quite a few animal department staff out there to helpRead more

EnrichBits: Max’s Monday out

EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment Occasionally, we’ll get the chance as animal keepers to see our animals react emphatically to a completely different change of routine and surroundings. Over the fall, the Museum was closed to visitors on Mondays, so we used this no-people-on-museum-grounds opportunity to give Max, our Jersey steer, some (unleashed) time out of his exhibit yard. We had never done enrichment like this before, and weren’t sure how Max would react. He is a bigRead more