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It’s Your Turn to Build Enrichments for the Animals!

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Animal Updates | Education | Enrichment

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Dominique

It’s Your Turn to Build Enrichments for the Animals!
Enrichment Volunteer Staccie at the Enrichment Exploration Station cart, where you can help build enrichments for the animals.  | Dominique Richardson

Enrichment Volunteer Staccie loves our animals and loves sharing her passion with others. She helped create an amazing new opportunity for visitors, volunteers and our animals! At the Enrichment Exploration Station, you can help build enrichments that will be given to our animals.

When you look for Staccie and the Enrichment Station, chances are you’ll first spot a large group of people intently focused around a cart. Staccie holds everyone’s attention as she shows adults and kids alike how to fold links for a rapidly growing paper chain. The colorful chain, as Staccie says, is not just a toy for the lorikeets, but it gives the birds a chance to exhibit behaviors they would normally perform in their natural environment. The lorikeets are going to shred the paper chain the way they would a bright flower in the way of their favorite nectar food. A constant stream of people come and go from the Enrichment Station cart, each directly helping with the care of our animals, while learning something and having fun. At the end of the few short hours, Staccie already has a chain almost as tall as I am and ready for the birds.

If you stick around long enough (or sometimes if you return in the next couple days) you may even see the enrichment you helped with hung up for the animals to use! Though sometimes it’s given to the animals hanging out behind the scenes. We took the paper chain created that morning into Lorikeet Forest. The animals usually require a bit of time to get used to a new device or toy, but these lorikeets seemed to know what was up. Almost immediately a group of birds came over to play with, swing from, and gnaw at the chain. Some birds even used their other toys as a perch to get to this new enrichment.

It’s an incredibly rewarding, and fun, opportunity to help enhance the life of these animals we all care about and enjoy. Look for Staccie, or one of our other volunteers, at our Enrichment Exploration Station cart and help us build an enrichment for our animals!

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