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Hi, my name is Kathy Baker and I am an education and research officer at Newquay Zoo, UK. I am also studying part-time at the University of Exeter for a PhD in Animal Behaviour; investigating personality in zoo-housed primates and how it can be used as a tool for health and welfare assessment.I became interested in the application of environmental enrichment in zoos during my undergraduate degree when I carried out an olfactory enrichment project with captive jaguars. I was able to further my knowledge of zoo based research during my MSc degree in zoo conservation biology which was jointly taught at the University of Plymouth and Paignton Zoo. Before I came to Newquay Zoo I worked at Paignton Zoo as a temporary research assistant after which I continued to volunteer in the research department. During this time I became involved in the Paignton Zoo Environmental Enrichment Group and assisted with the organization of the first two UK and Ireland REECs. Being involved in these regional conferences continues to be a very rewarding experience as it is a great chance to exchange thoughts and ideas on all aspects of environmental enrichment.
Whos WhoHaving introduced those of us involved in producing The Enrichment Times in the last edition we thought it might be a good idea in each edition to introduce some of the other
members of the REEC committee.
Port Lympne Wild Animal Park plays host to the First UK Shape Workshop.
From the 2nd-5th of March, Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks hosted their first large scale keeper workshop in conjunction with The Shape of Enrichment Inc. Valerie Hare, Shape Co-founder and Workshop Coordinator, was invited over from America to run this course, in return for a donation which goes towards covering the costs of running similar workshops in places that cannot afford to fund their own such as South America, Africa and Asia. We wanted to host this workshop because, although our keepers already do a lot in the way of enrichment, as Adrian Harland, Port Lympnes Animal Director stated in his opening address, we know we dont know everything there is to know and so are always keen to find new ways to help further improve animal welfare and enrichment within our collections.
In addition to 12 of our own keepers, we were joined by 20 external delegates from collections in the UK, Holland and Israel. The workshop itself lasted three and a half days and covered all aspects of enrichment from safety and goal setting to problem-solving techniques for animals that are showing or beginning to show behavioral problems. In order for the keepers who attended to put these new skills in initiating and maintaining enrichment plans to the test, a practical aspect of the workshop allowed attendees to work with a selection of animals within our collection. Despite being slightly chaotic this enrichment scrap heap challenge-esk exercise was enjoyed by all (and has an added bonus that we now have lists of new and unusual ideas we may be able to modify in the future)!
A month on and our keepers have begun putting what they have learnt into practice within our enrichment meetings and in their day-to-day work. It is the kind of workshop that can provide new ideas and new ways of looking at things for anyone, no matter what their experience, from trainee keepers all the way up to managers. As well as working hard, we also managed to fit in some play time, with a welcome dinner on the first night and a final night party which proved all you need is a bar and a couple of Sing Star discs to turn a networking opportunity into a relaxed social event! The workshop was hailed as a success by all involved and many delegates commented that they looked forward to the next one, so watch this space A massive thank you has to go to Valerie for making this workshop such a brilliant event!
Chris Hales, Deputy Head of Large Carnivores at Port Lympne summed it up perfectly: Friends were made, brains were put to the test, and most importantly everybody left with agreat enthusiasm to go back to their own collections and put these procedures into practice.
Mark Kingston Jones, Education, Enrichment and Research [email protected]
The Market Place
The basic idea of the marketplace is to encourage the exchange of items and ideas between collections. If you have surplus items to get rid of or need to find that elusive part hopefully the marketplace will help. We are hoping that the flow of information will also occur so if there is a burning question that you need answered or need to collect info from a number of collections maybe we can help.
Spices for allPaignton Zoo have had a rather huge donation of herbs and spices, ideal for use in olfactory enrichment. They have so much they are happy to share with everyone. If you would like to get your hands on some of these herbs then please contact - [email protected]
Calling all Hoofstock Keepers....
The BIAZA Hoof stock Focus Group is currently in the process of putting together an Enrichment Database specific to hoof stock species, species that are perhaps under enriched in many collections. Therefore, it is our aim to produce a usable database for the exchange of hoof stock enrichment ideas.
In order to facilitate the exchange of enrichment ideas, we need YOUR enrichment ideas to input onto the database for the use of your colleagues. Information that we would input into the database is as follows.....
- Enrichment Name - Enrichment Type (olfactory, manipulative etc)
- Suitable Species - Description of Enrichment
- Enrichment Effectiveness - Notes on Effectiveness
- Build Instructions - Suggested Supplier of Materials
- Estimated Cost - A photograph (where possible)
- Personal Details (Name, Collection name, address, contact phone number and e-mail address).
In order for this to work, we require your help to fill the database with enrichment ideas. Hopefully it will be of benefit to all people involved with the keeping of hoof stock species. Please send all your information to Noel Carey at West Midlands Safari Park, email address is [email protected]
The Market Place
Scent Enrichment at Woburn Safari Park.The Marketplaces first success
We have also tried them on the red river hogs -they didn't really react to them. Other animals that will benefit from the herbs and spices will be the lemurs, squirrel monkeys, lions, tigers and the rhinos. The monkey jungle tried the spices on the new additions to the park the Drills but they werent too keen on them but they are going to try the herbs so see if it elicits a different response.
At Woburn we like to provide a variety of enrichment for our animals including novel items, food based and scents. After seeing the market place within the enrichment times we were able to obtain lots of herbs and spices as a kind donation from Julian Chapman, Paignton zoo. We split the donation up between the different sections of the park. We have tried, ground cumin seed, tumeric, oregano and majoram; the tumeric and ground cumin seed received the biggest reaction with our lynx we placed the spice on a hessian sack and on a dirt pile and the two girls rolled on the sack and dirt they also scent marked the areas too. It was clear that they enjoyed the new scent and we look forward to seeing their reaction to other spices and herbs.
Milan scent marking the hessiansack.
Paignton Zoo has had 100 sack barrow tyres donated and they are willing to pass on a few to other collections. They are brand new and are about 10 inches in diameter.
They are after some Astroturf, the coarse variety that is generally used for doormats rather than sports pitches, does anyone know of a source?
Also Paignton is now the general drop off point for the second hand fire hose in the southwest area. If you are interested in having some please contact them to see what they have.
Please contact [email protected]
Xmas Tree Enrichment
Sorry for the misleading title, we do not actually enrich our Xmas Trees but rather we use them for enrichment.
It is always worth starting early with this particular one. In November we contact our local Xmas Tree farm to let them know that we are interested in taking their surplus trees after the festive season and invite them to join in with some publicity. They will bring in a few trees and we will make paper mache presents and decorations to go around it. With a bit of strategic placing the press can get some nice photos and both the zoo and the farm get some publicity.
After Xmas we will get 2 or 3 lorry loads of trees picked up from the farm at no cost what so ever, just a little bit of our time. They are a very versatile enrichment and as we only get them once a year they are fairly novel for the animals as well. Here are a few of the example of the enrichment we do with them;
Hamadryas baboon drill holes through the base of the tree thread them onto a rope and suspend between 2 poles. Meerkats shut the animals in and jam the trees into the sand, desert to forest in 5 minutes.Horned animals suspend the trees upside down so the animals can thrash them with their horns.Peccaries and hogs just throw them in, they seem to like carrying them around, we used to have a male that would bring his tree into the bed each night and cuddle up to it!Although I say that we only get the trees once a year it is amazing how long some of the varieties stay fresh, we have only just put the last ones in.
If you collect your trees from members of the public just make sure that all the decorations have been removed (youd be surprised) and that it hasnt been sprayed with anything to make the needles stay on longer.
Dates for your Diary
International Conference on Environmental Enrichment
Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, Devon, UK
Sunday 31st May to Friday 5th June 2009
The conference will be hosted by Paignton Zoo Environmental Park from Sunday 31st May to Friday 5th June 2009. The event will be held at the Riviera International Conference Centre, Torquay
The conference programme will start with registration and an icebreaker function with a civic reception on Sunday 31st. There will be evening boat trips around Torbay, evening bird watching trips, badger watching, an afternoon tour of Paignton Zoo Environmental Park and evening barbeque at the Zoo. The week will conclude with a gala banquet to mark the end of the event. The days will mix talks and workshops with practical demonstrations and lively debate.
The full scientific programme is now available to view from our website (www.reec.info/ICEE9.htmor www.enrichment.org/ICEE9.html) The programme includes evaluating enrichment, enriching public aquaria, enriching squamates, growing plants for enrichment, enriching spotted hyenas, kennelled dogs and cuttlefish.
Three keynote speakers have been confirmed to talk at the conference;
Jon Coe, zoo enclosure designer, founder of Jon Coe Design, Australia
Professor Geoff Hosey, University of Bolton
Professor Gordon M. Burghardt, University of Tennessee
The deadline for registration is 30th April 2009 so hurry as there is still time!
Tel. 44 (0)1803 697572
E-mail [email protected]
Seeking to Invent new ways to Create opportunities for natural behaviours, Enrich
the lives of our animals and Evaluate the results.
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