Animal enrichment and how you can help

August 28, 2017

Enriching the lives of the animals at Seneca Park Zoo is a key focus of keeper staff here at the Zoo. It is a crucial part of our day to make sure that all the animals in our care are stimulated and encouraged to interact with their environment. Enrichment can be anything that the animal experiences that is out of the normal daily routine. It can provide them with a new scent, a new object to investigate, or an opportunity to engage in their natural behaviors.

For example, orangutans are forage feeders, so they spend their days searching around for food to eat in their natural range. By giving the orangutans at the Zoo different food items that they have to search for, we encourage them to exhibit the natural behavior of foraging. Similarly, hiding food treats for the tigers encourages them to sniff out their food. We offer new enrichment items to our animals daily and try to challenge them every day.

Seneca Park Zoo animal care staff are very excited to share the search for new enrichment items with all of the Zoo’s guests! With Animal Enrichment Weekend set for September 2-4, we are giving all of you an opportunity to help us provide enrichment to your favorite animals. Any guest that brings in an animal enrichment item from our wishlist will receive $2 OFF for each person in their group. There will also be an enrichment line hung in the Zoo that will be loaded with tags, each bearing an animal’s name and an item that would make a great enrichment piece. If you are interested in giving an animal an item, take a tag and return to the Zoo with the item listed!

Our animals love having new enrichment items to explore, and we are looking forward to a weekend of exploration and fun!

— Robin English, Vet Technician