Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Animal Enrichment Activities!

Regular Blog readers will know that animal enrichment is a regular and fun part of our animal care programme here at Seaview Wildlife Encounter.  This involves giving the animals new, interesting games and experiences to enrich their lives and keep them stimulated.  Enrichment activities are often centred around feeding times – where the Keepers devise ways to make meals more interesting – encouraging natural foraging behaviour and elements of ‘hide and seek’ rather than just dishing food out on a plate.

Over the past couple of days the Animal Care Team have been involved in various activities. We’ve included a few photos (above) capturing some moments of enrichment activity with the Otters, Meerkats, Penguins and Goats. These included a rubber ball on a rope and introducing a mirror – to see whether any species noticed or reacted to their own reflection. The outcome of the mirror enrichment exercise – no animals seemed to be aware of their reflection (they only explored the mirror as they would any new object placed into their enclosure) except for Ollie the Pygmy Goat who took cognisance of the reflection – whether realising this was himself or another Goat we’re not too sure!

I particularly like the image (above left) of Dippy looking over his shoulder with the mirror behind him – giving the impression he is examining his moulting, scruffy-looking back!  The image above right shows one of the Otters with a feather in his mouth – Otters are very inquisitive and use their front paws and mouths to test, taste and explore everything they come into contact with!

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