What’s an enrichment liaison?
Hello all! A lot has changed since the last time I wrote to you guys. I still work in our Outback Station section, but I am now a keeper under the Ambassador Animals Department instead of our Mammals Department. The Ambassador Animals Department is really geared toward guest interaction with our animals, whether that’s our free-flight bird presentations, animal encounters or our petting zoo.
Another change for me is that I have now taken over as the Enrichment Liaison for Outback Station. This means that I am greatly involved in the Outback enrichment program, which consists of things like submitting and collecting enrichment proposals to pass along for approval by our Veterinary Team and upper management in our animal caretaking section. All enrichment goes through a strict approval process in order to make sure every aspect of it is okay to give to our animals. Enrichment is very important because it’s something new every day to mix up our animals’ daily routines. It helps to stimulate the animals’ minds and bodies. Enrichment can be anything from adding a new scent to their habitat, giving them a new toy to play with, or changing their environment in some way.
Being the Outback Enrichment Liaison also means that I help out a lot on special enrichment days. I’ll submit special enrichment item requests, and make a schedule of who gets what where at what time. Speaking of special enrichment days … have you ever been to the Zoo around a holiday or attended our Play the Animal Way event? If so, then you’ve probably seen the animals playing with some pretty cool stuff! We have an amazing Volunteer Team who makes special enrichment for all our animals for the holiday season, Halloween, Play the Animal Way, etc. If you haven’t been to the Zoo around any of these times, then you should plan a trip on the Saturday before Easter, as that’s our next special enrichment event! You can expect to see lots of baskets, bunnies and eggs made out of various things for the animals to enjoy! Stay tuned here at zooatlanta.org for more details, or if you feel like helping out with Zoo enrichment, you can join our Volunteer Team or donate to our Wish List online. Thanks for reading and stay warm!
Keeper I, Ambassador Animals