Enrichment Evaluation Guide

We all want the best for the animals in our care. To make the environment more challenging, more complex and more stimulating to perform certain behaviours, we use environmental enrichment to achieve these aims. Sometimes, when you use a particular enrichment item to stimulate a specific response, the enrichment will not immediately be used. Does…

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Make Feeding Of Animals Enriching

Often animals are hand-fed, without any form of enrichment or effort to obtain their food. I caught myself last time doing the same while feeding the otters. So the next day I used the food, normally chopped fish but this time as a whole, and inserted it in a¬†sandwich feed board. The otters, normally done…

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Determine The Need Of Environmental Enrichment – A Conceptual Framework

Environmental enrichment can be defined as “The provision of stimuli which promote the expression of species-appropriate behavioural and mental activities in an understimulating environment”. In an ideal world, all animals in captivity would be provided with environments that were maximally favourable to their (behavioural) welfare. Designs for truly naturalistic-appearing environments combined with responsive environmental designs…

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Environmental Enrichment Diversity Checklist

Environmental enrichment is a tool to stimulate species-specific behaviour. Animals have a wide diversity in behaviours which can and need to be stimulated. In the same way, there is an extensive diversity of enrichment devices that can be used to stimulate these different behaviours. When searching on the internet there are hundreds of examples of various…

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The Contrafreeloading Concept – What Does It Mean

In most animals, food is a powerful motivator of behaviour, so it will be no surprise that the manner and timing of feeding affect behaviour in captive animals. Appetitive behaviours are also strongly influenced by how food is presented. Food timing and presentation influence appetitive and consummatory behaviours, but also (food) aggression, abnormal behaviours and…

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The Enrichment Compensation Tendency In Captivity

Environmental enrichment, also known as behavioural enrichment or behavioural husbandry, is provided for a different number of reasons in zoos and aquariums, mainly to support good animal welfare. Environmental enrichment is a qualified practice to enhance the physical and mental health of animals in captivity. Providing stimulating environments it has become a key component in…

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The S.P.I.D.E.R. Framework

To set up and maintain a well-thought animal behavioural enrichment program, you need a decent layout for such a program. The S.P.I.D.E.R. framework is a helpful tool to fulfil this. So let’s take a look at how the framework works and how to implement it in your zoo.¬†The S.P.I.D.E.R. model allows institutions to set up,…

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