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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.


Enrichment Day Program



     Enrichment Day Program 2018

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
10:00 Carruth Natural Encounters Red Panda
10:00 Galapagos Tortoise
10:15 Carruth Natural Encounters Inside Rainforest
10:15 Reptile and Amphibian House
10:30 Ankole Cattle
10:30 Reptile and Amphibian House Komodo Dragon
10:45 Carruth Natural Encounters Ambassador Animal
10:45 Giant Anteater

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

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

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

12:00 Lemur
12:15 Orangutan
12:30 Bobcat
12:30 Gorilla
12:30 Babirusa
12:45 River Otter
12:45 Siamang

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

1:00 Tropical Bird House Rainforest
1:00 Banded Mongoose
1:00 Gibbon
1:15 DeBrazza
1:15 Great Blue Turaco
1:15 Farm Yard
1:30 Meet an Ambassador Animal in the Naturally Wild Swap Shop
1:30 Elephant
1:30 Swamp Monkey/Red-tail Guenon
1:30 Rhino
1:30 Sea Lion
1:45 Patas
1:45 Flamingo
1:45 Bug House

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 in the wild!