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One Tough Customer

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Animal Updates | Birds | Enrichment

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


One Tough Customer
Adelaide the Laughing Kookaburra.  | Dominique Richardson

Adelaide the Laughing Kookaburra (you may hear her loud call while exploring Lorikeet Forest) happens to be one of our hardest residents to please when it comes to enrichment. She doesn’t seem very interested in toys or puzzles, even when they involve food. In hopes of enticing her with an enrichment that resembled something she would naturally hunt for, her trainer asked me to make her a paper mache snake.

Going into this, I knew that our kookaburra isn’t very excited by enrichment, but I still didn’t expect the response I got. We introduced the snake to Adelaide and she stared at it. I waited patiently for a response… you know, give her some time to get used to it. She continued to just stare at it, so her trainer moved the fake snake around a little bit. Adelaide just stared. Her trainer had other animals to tend to, so I offered to supervise Adelaide, who was still just staring at the snake, with her enrichment. Not long after her trainer left, Adelaide—who had been staring at the snake this whole time—gave a huge yawn. And then, she closed her eyes and went to sleep! Wow… what an exciting enrichment… I guess we can add model snakes to the list of enrichment Adelaide is not fond of.

We did eventually find something that engages Adelaide: her own feathers. She was caught by her trainer playing with her own down as it floated through the air. So, we made her a tuft of long feathers bound into what resembled a very oversized cat toy. She loved it! Finally, enrichment for Adelaide.

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