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Go Wild Enrichment Day 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Celebrate animal enrichment at Go Wild for Enrichment Day at the Houston Zoo on Saturday, September 22! Join us for special training and enrichment demonstrations to learn why enrichment is such an important part of the everyday care of our animal residents.

What is Enrichment? Animals in the wild have to work to find food, to make nests, and to find shelter. The Zookeepers at the Houston Zoo create different types of interesting and complex activities and challenges, also known as enrichment, that allow for physical and mental choices similar to those in nature.


Visit these incredible opportunities to see how our Zookeepers enrich our animals everyday.

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

9:30 Kipp Aquarium Feeding
10:00 Carruth Natural Encounters Red Panda Enrichment
10:00 Galapagos Tortoise Produce Feed
10:15 Carruth Natural Encounters Inside Rainforest
10:15 Reptile and Amphibian House Produce Feed
10:30 Carruth Natural Encounters Bat Enrichment
10:30 Ankole cattle Enrichment
10:30 Reptile and Amphibian House Komodo Dragon
10:45 Carruth Natural Encounters Ambassador Animal
10:45 Giant Anteater Enrichment

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

11:00 Carruth Natural Encounters River’s Edge Enrichment
11:00 Tapir/Capybara Enrichment
11:00 Flight Pen Enrichment
11:00 Sea Lion Chat and Enrichment
11:15 Cassowary Enrichment
11:15 Bongo Enrichment
11:30 Okapi Enrichment
11:30 Carruth Natural Encounters Meerkat Enrichment
11:30 Natural Encounters Piranha Feeding
11:30 St. Vincent’s Amazon Enrichment

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

12:00 WWP Lemur Enrichment
12:15 WWP Orangutan Enrichment
12:30 McGovern Children’s Zoo Bobcat Enrichment
12:30 African Forest Gorilla Enrichment
12:30 WWP Babirusa Enrichment
12:45 McGovern Children’s Zoo River Otter Enrichment
12:45 WWP Siamang Enrichment

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

1:00 Tropical Bird House Rainforest Enrichment
1:00 McGovern Children’s Zoo Banded Mongoose Enrichment Toss
1:00 WWP Gibbon Enrichment
1:15 WWP DeBrazzas Enrichment
1:15 Great Blue Turaco Enrichment
1:15 McGovern Children’s Zoo Farm Enrichment
1:30 Naturally Wild Swap Shop Animal Ambassador
1:30 Elephant Enrichment
1:30 WWP Swamp Monkey & Red-tail Guenon Enrichment
1:30 African Forest Rhino Enrichment
1:30 Sea Lion Chat and Enrichment
1:45 WWP Patas Enrichment
1:45 Shoebill Stork Enrichment
1:45 McGovern Children’s Zoo Bug House Chat

2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Meet us at the Enrichment-on-the-Go trailer parked at the McGovern Children’s Zoo to help construct animal enrichment from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Stick around and join us to help give the enrichment you built to our banded mongoose at the McGovern Children’s Zoo at 1:00 p.m.

Visit Enrichment Central to put your skills to the test!

Paint like our Animals
Many of our animals show interest in painting on canvases with non-toxic paints. With a little help from their Zookeepers, they can create their very own masterpieces.

Guests are encouraged to break out their inner artist and paint just like an elephant, parrot and jaguar.
Rainbo, the Eclectus Parrot

Sense Safari
At the Houston Zoo, we choose items to help encourage natural behaviors that include an animal’s five senses: touch, taste, sight, smell and hearing.

Learn, first hand, how two of those senses, scent and touch, encourage animals to explore their areas and identify different types of bedding.

Encouraging Natural Behaviors
Enrichment is used to encourage natural behavior that a species may utilize in the wild within their habitat here at the Houston Zoo. Even exercise is a form of enrichment.

Take the challenge to see if you can jump to reach your food, move heavy objects like elephants or even balance like a monkey on a tree branch.

Compete to Eat
Hiding food encourages natural foraging behavior. Zookeepers create items such as puzzle feeders that allow for animals to manipulate objects by pushing them around, swatting them, chewing on them or carrying them around to reach food items.

Show us if you can forage like an animal as they would do in the wild!