We accept many items to use for animal enrichment and to help with the zookeepers’ day to day tasks!
What is enrichment?
It is a multidisciplinary field of study that is referred to as environmental enrichment. In the book Second Nature: Environmental Enrichment for Captive Animals (1998), Dr. David J. Shepherdson defines “environmental enrichment [as] an animal husbandry principle that seeks to enhance the quality of captive animal care by identifying and providing the environmental stimuli necessary for optimal psychological and physiological well-being.”
Why do captive animals need environmental enrichment?
Research shows that an animal in a captive environment is confronted with many stressful circumstances to which they must adapt. “Compared with the wild, confinement offers few opportunities for an animal to learn to cope with aversive conditions. Enrichment provides animals with behavioral options for responding to the environment” (Carlstead and Seidensticker, 1989). Environmental enrichment performs a multitude of functions and “promotes normal specie-specific behavior, increases activity and exploration, reduces emotionality, and facilitates coping ability”
How does the Pine Grove Zoo implement environmental enrichment?
Currently the zookeepers at the PGZ apply enrichment techniques in several ways. Some techniques involve food, others involve scents, and some involve building things or altering the exhibit environment. For instance, keepers scatter pieces of food and vary the types, locations, and amounts of foods. They also distribute and exchange miscellaneous scents like perfume, spices, and bedding material throughout the exhibits. Keepers also build toys and incorporate live and/or natural materials into exhibit environments.
Why does Pine Grove Zoo need support for environmental enrichment?
Because of the PGZ’s limited resources, zookeepers have very little time or money to devote to enrichment. Supporting the enrichment program through donations of items, funding, and/or ideas can help zookeepers provide a more humane existence for the Zoo’s animals and a more pleasurable experience for the Zoo’s visitors.
- Buckets and plastic bottles
- Milk or water jugs
- Ropes and chains
- Large PVC pipes
- Catnip, herbs, and spices
- Perfumes and essential oils (used or new)
- Animal scents and pheromones
- Unseasoned and uncooked frozen meat
- Fresh eggs
- Fresh produce
- Peanut butter, honey
- Fruit juice, kool-aid
- Paper grocery bags
- Barrels or kegs
- Cardboard boxes
- CD’s (ocean waves, animal sounds, etc.)
- Commercial cat and dog food
- Sturdy plastic or metal bowls
- Non-toxic paint
- Horse toys (used or new)
- Toys made for zoo animals or big cats
- Wind chimes
- Untreated plywood and lumber
- Paper Towels
- Garbage Bags
- Gently used towels
- Christmas trees
- Monetary donations are always accepted!
To donate any items, fill out a donation form and bring your donation to the admissions building. During our closed season, call us at 320-616-5595 to make drop-off arrangements.