By Brooke Coe, Education Specialist & AAZK Member
Have you ever seen the tiger cub stalk a frozen shrimp pop or watched a giraffe use its 18 inch-long tongue to scoop fruit treats from an enrichment tube? How about ground hornbills chasing crickets? Now is your chance to take an active role in a zoo animal’s enrichment!
Why do we do this? Enrichment is an item or activity that is not part of the “routine” of an animal. It is something used to get them up and active, stimulate natural behaviors that you would see out in the wild, stretch their cognitive abilities, and simply to give the animals something new and fun to do! It is extremely beneficial for the livelihood and well-being of animals in captivity and contributes to longer, happy lives. Every animal in the Zoo is enriched, and zookeepers are constantly coming up with new, creative ideas for the zoo residents.
On Saturday, September 25th from 10 am to 2 pm, the Sacramento Zoo’s American Association of Zookeepers, Greater Sacramnto AAZK, will be hosting an enrichment day! It is an opportunity for the visitors to purchase pre-made enrichment items for animals throughout the zoo, and the guests get to watch as the animal eats, plays with, or destroys that item right then.
Visit our table a the front of the Zoo and see a wide range of enrichments to choose from, and also a variety of different animals to enrich! The proceeds from this event will be used to benefit your local AAZK chapter and also the Conservation Committee, which sponsors numerous local and world-wide conservation organizations such as Snow Leopard Trust and the Riparian Brush Rabbit Project. Come out and join us in enriching your favorite Zoo animal!