Zoological animals lead enriched and fulfilling lives in naturalistic habitats that educate millions of guests per year and spark conservation awareness. Creating different types of animal enrichment is a fun and exciting part of being a zookeeper, trainer, and animal care specialist.
Enrichment devices can be anything from a colorful toy to a puzzle the animal must solve to reach a favorite treat hidden inside.
When it comes to special enrichment for animals at zoos and aquariums, Christmas is no exception. Animal care teams create special festive items, wrapped presents, and stockings stuffed with the animal’s favorite treats and toys.
Hannover Adventure Zoo
These meerkats have opened their box to find their favorite snacks. Now, that box has also become a place to play.
Penguins use their keen sense of smell to detect what lies inside the wrapping.
ZSL WWhipsnade Zoo
Marine mammals often get specially made birthday cakes made from ice and gelatin. This fishy treat has a more festive look for the season.
Taylor Jones/Palm Beach Post
This spider monkey isn’t even sure where to start.
Texas State Aquarium
Dolphins get a wide range of enrichment due to their dynamic living environments. What do you think is in the box?
Matt King/Getty Images
These packages contained special treats and puzzles.
New York Aquarium
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy and enriching new year!