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ENRICHMENT


(Check for Hazards)

 

 

When designing, installing and implementing enrichment, the importance of following established

institutional protocols cannot be understated. To avoid potential animal enrichment hazards, the following

questions should be considered:

 

1) Can the animals get caught in it or become trapped by it?

 

2) Can it be used as a weapon?

 

3) Can an animal be cut or otherwise injured by it?

 

4) Can it fall on an animal?

 

5) Can the animal ingest the object or piece of it? Is any part of it toxic, including paint or epoxy?

 

6) Can it be choked on or cause asphyxiation or strangulation?

 

7) Can it become lodged in the digestive system and cause gut

 

8) Impaction or linear obstruction?

 

9) In a multi-species exhibit or other social grouping, could a larger or smaller animal become stuck or injured by the object or get hung up on it (particularly a young animal)?

 

10) Can it destroy an exhibit?

 

11) If fecal material is used for enrichment, has it been determined to be free from harmful parasites?

 

12) Is food enrichment included as part of the animals’ regular diet in a manner that will reduce the risk of obesity?

 

13) When introducing animals to conspecifics or in a multi-species exhibit, are there sufficient areas for them to escape undesirable interactions?

 

14) Can the manner of enrichment presentation (i.e., one item or items placed in a small area) promote aggression or harmful competition?

 

15) Has browse been determined to be non-toxic?

 

16) Do the animals show signs of allergies to new items (food, browse, substrates, etc.)?

 

17) Does the enrichment cause abnormally high stress levels?

 

18) Does the enrichment cause stimulation at a high level for extended periods of time that do not allow the animal natural down time in the species’ normal repertoire (e.g., constant activity for public enjoyment when the animal would normally be inactive in its native habitat)?

 

Source: American Association of Zoo Keepers (www.aazk.org)

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