Animal Enrichment

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When an animal is under mortal care, we've removed an exquisitely acclimated organism from the terrain that shaped it over numerous times. Stimulating their minds and exertion situations allows us, in some small way, to give them back what has been lost in this transition."- Chris Jenkins CPBT- KA  There’s a lot further that goes into being a zoo keeper than digging poop and feeding creatures. Keepers spend time studying creatures so they can give them the most stylish life possible then at the Zoo – and that includes conserving, encouraging, and challenging their natural beast instincts through enrichment programs. Enrichment is a way that zookeepers give creatures the occasion to express natural behaviors.  At Emirates Zoo at Grassmere, we have a  veritably active enrichment program that's under the guidance of the Behavioural Husbandry Watchman. 


Each Area Supervisor is responsible for the operation of the enrichment of the creatures in their area, but the keepers are responsible for enforcing the enrichment. It's platoon trouble when creating and enforcing the most custom, species-specific enrichment programs for Nashville Zoo’s creatures.  Along with the beast’s health and diet, environmental enrichment is a  pivotal part to the quality of life and  weal of each beast at the Zoo. The keepers are veritably knowledgeable of species ’ natural behaviors and physiology which enables them to develop the most applicable and effective enrichment programs. The thing of enrichment programs is to enhance the weal of species in our care. We hope by seeing this our guests can connect more deeply with these creatures and begin to share in their conservation throughout the world. 


Emirates Park Zoo creates its enrichment programs grounded on the orders defined by The Shape of Enrichment   Different types of enrichment can be useful for different types of geste. Enrichment is, in utmost cases, classified by the effective stimulation of these behaviors. numerous enrichment particulars aren't limited to one type of enrichment. still, what are the different types of enrichment?



Almost seen in every zoo, this type of enrichment is described as “cognitive and mental stimulation that requires problem-solving of different levels of complexity”. Zookeepers spend a lot of time developing the most creative enrichment ideas, to keep animals mentally engaged. It focuses mainly on the mental health of animals. The most used devices are puzzle feeders, where animals are cognitively challenged to be rewarded with food. With different objects, animals are stimulated for investigation and exploratory behaviors. Animals with a higher form of intelligence need to be more mentally stimulated to excite their cognitive abilities. 



This form of enrichment is focused on organized interactions between conspecifics, interspecific or human-animal. Sometimes it is also possible to use a substitute as social enrichment (i.e. plush toy). A well-known and most common form of social enrichment is animal training. Training can be very beneficial for animal welfare by providing cognitive stimulation, increasing social play, decreasing inactivity, and mitigating social aggression during feeding.



Food-based enrichment can be defined as “the manipulation of food or method of providing food”. This type of enrichment focuses on the food presentation to make feeding more challenging for the animal. A variety of feeding methods and food presentation encourage animals to work for their food. It can also be enriching to provide a novel food item. The goal is to stimulate and extend the appetitive and consummatory behaviours of an animal. Often zookeepers provide puzzle feeders, which is discussed in cognitive enrichment. 


Structural enrichment

Structural enrichment also called ‘physical habitat enrichment’, is defined as the “alteration of the physical elements of the enclosure”. Its main goal is to stimulate exploratory behaviors and collect information. This enrichment is mainly provided to prevent boredom and keeps the animal physically healthy by encouraging it to become more active. This kind of enrichment, which is different from tactile enrichment, is ranked as important but is not often provided. The physical environment should be frequently altered and switched so animals do not become too familiar with their environment, which causes boredom and can eventually cause stereotyped behaviors. 



Sensory enrichment focuses on the stimulation of the animal’s senses. You can divide it into four subcategories: visual enrichment, olfactory (smell & taste) enrichment, auditory (sound) enrichment, and tactile (touch) enrichment. These senses are all important means of communication and are routes of gathering information about the surrounding environment. As an essential form of enrichment, care needs to be taken when providing sensory enrichment. You are not always aware of what information you are communicating to your animals. Most types of sensory enrichment are passive forms of enrichment.



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