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Enrichment Day

African-Crested-Porcupine-Enrichment-Day-2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014
9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Schedule

9:30 Kipp Aquarium – Octopus Enrichment

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

10:00 Kipp Aquarium Enrichment
10:00 Natural Encounters – Red Panda Enrichment
10:00 Elephant Bath at Barn
10:15 Natural Encounters – Inside Rainforest Enrichment
10:15 Reptile Building – Enrichment Activity
10:30 Kipp Aquarium – Sea Turtle Enrichment
10:30 Natural Encounters – Bat Enrichment
10:30 Giant Eland, Warthog Enrichment
10:30 Reptile Building – Komodo Dragon Enrichment
10:45 King Vulture Enrichment
10:45 Natural Encounters – Desert Enrichment
10:45 Okapi Enrichment

11:00 a.m. – Noon

11:00 Tropical Bird House Rainforest Enrichment
11:00 Natural Encounters River’s Edge Enrichment
11:00 Red Crowned Crane Enrichment at Birds of the World
11:15 Cassowary Enrichment
11:30 Natural Encounters Piranha Enrichment
11:30 St. Vincent Amazon Enrichment

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

12:00 WWP – Lemur Enrichment
12:15 WWP – Tamarin Enrichment
12:30 Parrot Enrichment at Children’s Zoo Swap Shop
12:30 WWP – Patas Enrichment
12:30 Chimpanzee Enrichment
12:45 Coati Enrichment at the Children’s Zoo
12:45 WWP – Mandrills Enrichment
12:55 River Otter Enrichment at Children’s Zoo

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

1:00 WWP – Debrazza’s monkey Enrichment
1:00 Lion Window Enrichment Talk
1:00 Rhino Enrichment
1:00 Duck Lake Pelican Enrichment
1:05 Banded Mongoose Enrichment at Children’s Zoo
1:15 Swift Fox Enrichment at Children’s Zoo
1:15 WWP – Swamp & Red-tailed Guenons Enrichment
1:15 Enrichment for Ibis, Peafowl – opposite entrance to Extreme Bugs
1:25 Cow Enrichment at Children’s Zoo
1:30 WWP – Siamang Enrichment
1:30 Elephant Enrichment
1:30 African Wild Dog Enrichment
1:30 Giraffe Enrichment
1:30 Sea Lion show and Enrichment
1:35 Goat Enrichment at Children’s Zoo
1:45 WWP – Babirusa Enrichment
1:45 Gerenuk Enrichment
1:45 Black Bears – Puzzle Feeders
1:45 Flamingo Enrichment

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

2:00 WWP – Orangutan Enrichment
2:00 Ankole Browse
2:00 Clouded Leopard Enrichment
2:00 Cheetah Enrichment
2:00 Natural Encounters Sea Jellies Enrichment
2:15 Tapir/Capybara Enrichment
2:15 Fossa Enrichment
2:20 Natural Encounters – Fish Enrichment
2:30 Maned Wolf/Anteater Enrichment
2:30 Tiger Training Window
2:45 Natural Encounters – Meerkat Enrichment

What is Enrichment?

Animals in nature have to work for a living – to find food, to make nests, and to find shelter. Play is another natural activity. Life for the animals at the Houston Zoo is more predictable than in the wild. That’s why our keepers use enrichment to create variety through work and play. Keepers at the Houston Zoo create an environment for our animals that allows for physical and mental choices and challenges.

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At the Houston Zoo, we choose items and activities that are safe and encourage natural behaviors. For example, orangutans in the wild make nests each time they stop to go to sleep at night. At the Houston Zoo, we give our orangutans cut branches of hackberry, mulberry, banana leaves, willow, hay or bamboo to make nests. Keepers also give them “toys” such as large indestructible balls and rubber tubes, crates and colorful fabric.

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Hiding food encourages natural foraging behavior. During Enrichment Day, our Mandrills will receive forage piles – yummy treats covered in substrate that they must dig through. Lemurs and Guenons enjoy puzzle feeders. Keepers drill holes in PVC pipes and then fill the tubes with some of the primates’ favorite treats. It takes more than a quick lick to get to the goodies inside!

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Exercise is also a form of enrichment. You may take your dog for a long walk or play tug of war with an old sock. Keepers at the Houston Zoo encourage physical activity in a variety of ways. For instance, Malayan tigers Pandu and Satu enjoy tugging on a large plastic barrel attached to a cord. Jaguars, Kan Balam and Cocoy, will sometimes receive their bones in barrels. They manipulate the slots in the barrel to get to the yummy treats inside.