- Plan Your Visit
- Animals & Realms
- Mann Museum
- Conserve Wildlife
Enrichment…. What’s it about?
Second the item usually needs to be available at little or no cost, since most enrichment items are destroyed by the animals. If not then it needs to be reusable and easily disinfected. With this criteria in mind enrichment gets much more complicated and one must be able to predict the future somewhat in order to avoid possible disaster. Many enrichment items that are used to the zoo are ordinary household items that may be called “trash”, but one person’s trash may be another’s enrichment treasure. Some of these items are empty two liter soda bottles. These can be used to make frozen popsicles, rattles, shakers and even puzzles for the animals. Newspaper can be used to make paper mache’ figures and puzzles, old shoes and clothes are great for novel textures and smells, worn out bed sheets are great for play toys and shelters. These are just a few examples. Animal enrichment goes on each day unscheduled somewhere in the zoo, but on two special days each year the public gets to see special scheduled enrichment. These days are aimed at teaching the public about animal enrichment. Regular admission charges apply and zoo members are free.
Two days a year are officially designated “Animal Enrichment Day” at the Montgomery Zoo. Although animal enrichment is ongoing every day of the year, these two official days are designed to allow zoo visitors to experience animal enrichment on a large scale. On these days most of the animals in the zoo receive enrichment on a published schedule and in very viewable methods for the public to appreciate. Animal enrichment is designed to stimulate curiosity, activity and often “wild type” behaviors in captive animals. It gives the animals unusual situations to think about, smell, taste, touch and hear. It also gives visitors the opportunity to see natural behavior in our zoo animals and stimulate visitor curiosity as well.
View the Approved Enrichment List for the Montgomery Zoo