If you tuned in to Swing Keeper Sarah’s #TakeoverTuesday a few weeks ago, you know that the Hoofstock Team recently took over the care of warthogs Eleanor and Shirley! We’re currently getting to know our new charges, and it’s a been a fun experience so far! We’ve spent the last few weeks learning their routine and learning about what the girls like to eat and play with. Taking over their routine is not just about cleaning their habitat and behind-the-scenes area; we also learn what they get for enrichment! We’ve been working with the elephant care team on what Eleanor and Shirley are approved to have as enrichment. One of the warthog’s natural behavior is digging for roots and bulbs to eat. So for enrichment we’ll hide produce around their habitat, under leaf piles and alfalfa, so they’ll have to dig around for it. We’ll also place scents around their habitat for them to sniff out and hang browse up for them to eat.
Besides enrichment, we are also learning about what behaviors Eleanor and Shirley know, so we can help take over their Wild Encounter and help with vet procedures. We focus on positive reinforcement at Zoo Atlanta, and we want their vet visits to be as stress-free as possible! Letting the warthogs get to know us and build a relationship with them will help with that. We are very eager to get started and have a lot of fun with Eleanor and Shirley!
Keeper III, Mammals