Category: Animal enrichment

Enriching the Lives of Animals One Token at a Time

During their day, caretakers make many decisions for our animals to ensure optimal welfare. To ensure they stay as healthy as possible, we protect them from severe weather, develop specialized diet plans, and provide lots of interesting elements in their habitats to guarantee species-appropriate opportunities. While this can result in some choices being made for our animals, we are always looking for ways to make certain our animals can make choices in their day as well. In fact, choice is on... Read More

Playing with Your Food Can Give You Food for Thought

How much effort do you put into preparing or acquiring your meals? Do you take a few steps to the fridge or place a call to the local pizza place? For the animals at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, the behavioral effort behind meal time is an important part of their daily, enriched feeding experience. One way we encourage our animal family to use their natural skills and diligence when gathering and eating their food is through items known as puzzle feeders. You may be wondering;... Read More

Bobcat, Dodger, Is Growing by Leaps and Bounds!

Many of our guests are familiar with our young bobcat, Dodger, who is known for being very interactive with all who visit him on the Zoo’s Cat Forest trail. We wanted to update everyone on how Dodger is doing, as he is not a young kitten anymore, but a growing cat who is constantly learning thanks to his animal care team here at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Dodger came to us at just over 10 pounds and is now a healthy 24-pound adolescent bobcat. Thanks to his strong interest in all things fo... Read More

Leaping Leopards: Building Enrichment Playgrounds for New Arrivals

Late last year, two clouded leopard cubs, eight-month-old male, J.D., and nine-month-old female, Rukai, joined the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden animal family. As soon as the carnivore care team received confirmation that the Zoo would become the duo’s new home, preparations for their arrival began at the Cat Forest habitat. Native to Nepal and Bangladesh, clouded leopards are known as one of the best climbers in the felid family. The species’ flexible ankle joints, shor... Read More
at Friday, January 10, 2020

Wild Workshops Teach Caretakers Imaginative Animal Enrichment

Enrichment is “the action of improving or enhancing the quality of something”. Animal caretakers at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden use enrichment to enhance the quality of an animal’s habitat to ensure high animal welfare. Many of our guests have seen Zoo caretakers add toys, feeders, ice treats or scents to encourage our animals’ natural abilities and ensure they have different opportunities throughout the day. However, various animals have en... Read More
at Thursday, June 13, 2019

Fostering Finyezi: Western Lowland Gorilla Bonds with Surrogate Mom

Finyezi, born June 15, 2018, is nearing his first birthday – a year that has been complete with many milestones met! Shortly after Fin’s birth in June 2018, it was observed that his mother, Njole, was not providing maternal care for him. Following this observation, his caretaker’s made the decision to hand raise him behind-the-scenes - a rewarding job that ‘took a village’. Because gorillas are very social and complex animals, it was important for Fin to on... Read More
at Friday, May 17, 2019

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