Enrichment is used in zoos as a way of enhancing the environment an animal lives in. It's anything we do here at Auckland Zoo to encourage and stimulate natural behaviours in our animals.
We give enrichment to our animals in many different ways to encourage them to investigate and interact with their environment.
We do things like changing around their exhibit, varying the way we present their food, putting different smells in their enclosures and giving them novel items to interact with. Providing enrichment alleviates boredom and gives our animals more choice on how they use their environment.
Enrichment can also reduce stress and improve success breeding in a captive environment. Along with improving animal welfare, it gives our visitors a more enhanced experience at the zoo and a chance to see behaviours they may not have realised an animal could do.
Our keepers work very hard to enrich our animal's lives and are always researching and testing new enrichment ideas. Here at Auckland Zoo, we strive to do the best practice in animal husbandry and enrichment is part of a zookeeper's daily routine.