Page 35 - Chiron Spring/Summer 2023
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 dirt into several mounds in the different exhibit spaces with the goal of encouraging natural behaviours such as dust bathing.
To ensure the dirt piles remain novel and continue to encourage behaviours from the animals, turn the piles over every other week will keep their shape, add new substrates to the original dirt, novel plants
and insects. Also transport the dirt between the different savannah exhibits to add novel scents from other animals and areas.
Rubbing posts for large cats, ungulates or bears, these can be heavy duty brushes- the agricultural community use something similar. They can be simply half a dozen brushes screwed together on a sheet of plywood for a Bear to rub its back.
Boredom is the biggest problem
to wildlife that are in cage. To overcome it, we can create enrichment to make orangutans busy. ‘Kong Toy’ (a ball with holes) is an example of enrichment combined with orangutan’s food. Kong Toys is filled with grains and honey.
Orangutans enjoy a variety of manipulative enrichment, which is any item that can be manipulated in some way via an animal’s hands, feet, mouth or head.
By planting various herbs or plants that are scented, they not only stimulate the exhibit animal but attract birds and insects to an enclosure- causing visual stimulation and investigative response drive.
Noise can be a stimulate, sounds of animals and insects from their natural environment or music gives the animal the impression that keepers are in the zoo.
Bears are extremely intelligent
and in the wild bears spend their time foraging for seasonal foods available throughout an extensive home range. Bears roam for miles in search of food, a mate and shelter. When they are placed in captivity and food is made ready, they can lose their ability to search/ hunt. As
a result of the stress and boredom these intelligent animals suffer from stereotypic behaviour and vices.
Creating situations where an animal can exert some control over its own environment can reduce the harmful effects of stress. Added to this a spacious enclosure will allow a bear to move freely and provide opportunities to explore its environment.
For or Against animal training or close interaction can depend on a number of factors. Firstly, safety for the animal and keeper, but it also depends on the zoo’s conservation and release objectives. Naturally human contact and reliance must be training Elephants and Rhino
to except a hands-on interaction for the purpose of administering medication. This is less stressful for the animals than tranquilizing them to take blood or routine foot treatment. Elephants, need wear down their foot soles as their nails continually grow, naturally walking
for miles in the wild would take care of this. In captivity, consider walking the Elephants around the zoo prior to public opening- this is done in several zoo in Australasia.
A mixed exhibit of animals from the same natural environment or grouped species, that naturally coexist in the wild but not prey or predator to each other.
Natural stress (not to be confused with manmade captivity stressors) can induce natural behaviour, for example again in the Auckland Zoological Park, the Lions are in the centre of an Ungulate plain exhibit. Separated by a moat, they can see their natural prey and vice versa.
Enrichments allow a Zoo to maintain the best environment
for the animals, while allowing healthy development of the animal. Each type of enrichment planned specifically for the animal and allows them to use their natural behaviours, as well as investigate and explore.
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