We’re committed to caring for our animals and constantly looking for ways to make their lives even better.
We use enrichment (specially designed objects and activities) on a daily basis to encourage our animals to demonstrate natural behaviour, provide them with mental stimulation and give them opportunities for exercise.
Just a few examples of some enrichment items you might see around Paignton Zoo include:
Pinatas: These papier mache shapes can be filled with straw and food and used with animals such as our primates, who pull the pinatas apart and then spend time foraging for their food. Alternatively we can make the pinatas into the shape of prey animals that our carnivores can stalk and pounce on!
Hidden food: We can hide food in enclosures so that the animals have to use their senses to forage and find the food. Our tiger pole allows us to hide food at the top of a pole so that the tiger uses its muscles and claws in order to climb to the top to get the food.
Novel scents: Many animals rely on their sense of smell to obtain detailed information about their environment. We can provide novel scents such as herbs, spices and animal scents which enhance the animals’ sensory environments and often encourage behaviours such as scent marking.
We carry out research when planning our enrichment, to make sure that we promote those behaviours that are relevant to each species, and to provide enrichment according to suitable timetables.
Enrichment can range from really simple techniques such as scattering food to encourage foraging, or providing scents on cardboard boxes, to complicated physical structures or puzzle feeders. There is no limit to the number of different enrichment items that we can provide; it just takes a bit of science and some imagination!
If you’re as passionate as we are about enriching our animals’ lives then visit our Amazon Wish List today where you can buy a perfect enrichment gift.
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