Getting Started

Creating an individual goal-oriented plan for each animal in captivity is a crucial part of enrichment. Each plan is created by considering desired species specific behavior, habitat, and individual history. The plan discourages unwanted and abnormal behaviors that are acquired from being in captivity. Enrichment activities should be well-documented as a way to ensure that the animal is benefitting. Caretakers are able to adjust the plan as needed for desired behaviors of the individual animal.

Gathering information regarding the species, documenting and analyzing the environment, and going over the animal's individual history are important first steps to creating an enrichment plan. Next, a plan is created with specific enrichment activities that will be used to help produce desired behaviors. After the plan is drawn up, it is then submitted to the Animal Management team who then approves or denies the plan. Once the plan is approved, the caretakers for the animal begin picking different activities off of the list of approved ideas and present them to the animal as a way to ensure varied enrichment. The plan is constantly reevaluated and adjusted depending on the animal's individual responses and new behaviors.

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