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Carnivore Fun and Games

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 12:47pm
Inkosi 01.JPG

Hi All,
We recently had some enrichment fun with the Lions and Hyena at Monarto Zoo.
The lovely volunteers at Monarto Zoo kindly donated some money so that special toys could be purchased through 'Aussie Dog Products'. These toys had to be ultra strong and durable as the jaw pressure of the Lions and especially the Hyenas are amazing!
First we hung a bungee with a tough red ball in a tree in the Lion exhibit. Our young male, Inkosi, was first to investigate this strange object, but it didn't take long for him to discover the fun that could be had! After a few hours of constant play it was obvious he was tired, but he would not let the toy go. Instead he chose to hang from the ball and rest at the same time! This would be similar to pulling on a carcass in the wild.
The Spotted Hyena cubs loved their red ball also. As it was a hot day, the cubs took the ball into their pond and played for hours, bobbing the ball and chasing each other away from it! Cubs in the wild would be playing and practicing their hunting skills like this (but without a ball!).
A new toy was designed especially for the adult hyenas. These animals have a tendency to destroy everything...just because they can! So, a tough black tube was made with a feed ball inside. The Hyenas have to put their head in the tube and move the ball around to get a treat. This works amazingly well and hasn't been destroyed yet! Hyenas in the wild will scavenge like this to get a meal, but will hunt also.
Of course the keepers were enriched at the same time! Absolutely amazing to watch and fantastic knowing that the animals were all practicing natural behaviours while having fun at the same time!

Anna Bennett
Senior Keeper - Carnivores





What an amazing place to work. You are oh so lucky. Keep up the good work.
Posted By: gene on Thursday, January 14, 2010 10:04pm
What a fantastic thing to do. I have so much respect and admiration for the zoo keepers and volunteers at Monarto and Adelaide Zoos having observed your interaction and care of those beautiful animals in your care on numerous occasions.
Posted By: Lorraine Castle on Monday, February 01, 2010 8:59am

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