In order to further develop the enrichment programme at Dartmoor Zoo, two keepers recently attended the 9th International Conference on Environmental Enrichment. This year it was hosted by Paignton Zoo and held in Torquay. The conference was attended by around 250 delegates, with people travelling from all continents to listen to a variety of presentations, many given by experts in the field. The keepers learned a great deal from the week and are now starting to trial some of the techniques discussed.
Designing enrichment devices, providing them to the animals and assessing how well (or not!) they are recieved is a very important part of a zoo keepers job. It is also one of the most fun! Visitors often ask us if they can do anything to help and we feel this is an area in which they certainly can. If you can donate any of the following items they will be used for enrichment. Many are household items you may consider rubbish and throw out routinely. Anything listed here would be greatfully recieved.
Plastic film canistersHessian sacks
Ice cube trays
Ice cream containers and lids
Curver storage boxes (and lids if possible)
A sprinkler system (for our tigers)
Ceramic strawberry planters
Pots of herbs and spices
Lengths of metal chain
Plastic spray bottles