What we do
Tippy, one of our North American river otters, works diligently to remove a treat from a water bottle in his exhibit. Greenie, our green sea turtle, pulls leaf lettuce from a floating jolly ball dog toy. Even our Komodo dragons and our Upland River Room’s quail get in on the action, playing and interacting with toys or treats.
Our animals enjoy an incredible array of enrichment items on a daily basis and these activities benefit the animals by keeping them physically and mentally active.
Enrichment tactics include:
- Manipulative: objects that can be handled by the animal, such as balls or car wash strips;
- Social: any interaction between animals, as well as interactions with humans (keepers and guests);
- Training Sessions: these interactions provide mental stimulation and allow animals to choose to participate or not;
- Sensory: enrichment designed to stimulate an animal’s senses of taste, touch, hearing, smell, and sight;
- Food/Foraging: special treats and regular dietary food items are presented to animals in different ways;
- Environmental/Habitat: changes to an animal’s living space; climbing structures, substrates, temperature, and lighting patters give Aquarium animals new and exciting experiences.
How you can help
We are constantly adding additional enrichment activities to our animals’ lives, and we can use your help. We’ve created an Amazon Wish List full of the items that we will use, and an on-site Giving Tree for you to take an ornament and give to our animals. The Wish List will remain open, and our Giving Tree will be here until early January 2017.