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Enrichment is Best Served Randomly

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 10:28am
croc 450w.jpg hippo 450w.jpg tiger 450w.jpg wombat 450w.jpg

Thought I would share some photos taken by our photographer Dave Mattner of our latest "Enrichment Day". This was Adelaide Zoos 3rd Enrichment Day. They are proving to be very popular with our visitors - and are doing a brilliant job of pushing the message out there of how important enrichment is - the need for both mental and physical stimulation to animals that have all their needs supplied with very little effort on their part.

Of course enrichment at Adelaide Zoo is a daily event, and best served randomly! But on Enrichment Day (every few months or so) we notify visitors of our Enrichment Events via a pre organised timetable, this allows them to follow events around the Zoo. It makes for a great atmosphere, and everyone, Keepers, Animals and visitors alike have a great time! Our fantastic volunteers also get involved by setting up tables of the enrichment items they make and encouraging the visitors to help make items too - the paper mache table was hugely popular! It also gives our Vollies a chance to actually watch the animals receive the items they spend hours making - and then get demolished in a fairly short space of time! We also noticed visitors spending much longer at each exhibit - giving them a greater appreciation of the animal, and their skills.

Our next Enrichment Day on Saturday, 9 July, will also focus on how our zoo enrichment can be adapted for domestic animals and encourage visitors to think about the enrichment needs for their pets at home, raising the importance of Animal Welfare at all levels!


South East Asia Keeper, Adelaide Zoo


Such a wonderful concept! Are you able to tell us about some of the tips and tricks you have? Maybe get people to talk about the way they enrich the lives of their pets? I love hearing new ideas about how to keep my intelligent Aussie Shepherd thinking while I am at work.
Posted By: Sharn Lucas on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 5:09pm
Thanks, keeping our animals mentally stimulated is so important to us. Do you mean on the Day, or on the blog? Certainly thats what we plan on the Enrichment Day - encouraging people to share ideas and learn some new ones! Of course we could also post some ideas on the blog as well. A word of caution though, we always make sure our enrichments are approved by our Vets - so please be careful with what you give your pets. A really interesting website to have a look at is - a private Australian business that started out with dog toys,then branched out into Zoo animals, his toys go to Zoos world wide.
Posted By: Mandy Smith on Saturday, July 02, 2011 8:37pm
Great to see this happening. Environmental enrichment was the topic of my post grad studies at Adelaide Uni back in the early 1980s so I understand how important this is to the zoo residents. Keep up the good work!
Posted By: Ron Ernszt on Sunday, July 24, 2011 1:31pm

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