EnrichBits: A monthly look at animal enrichment
This picture is from my home bathroom. I have, at any given moment, at least 4 brands/flavors of toothpaste in my bathroom drawer. Sometimes I feel like regular Crest, sometimes Tom’s of Maine Mint. Sometimes it’s the baking soda one, sometimes the cinnamon flavor. This stupid, simple little thing — staring at the tubes and choosing which I want –makes me happy.
So, what on earth do my weird toothpaste habits have to do with animals?
We try to give our animals here at the museum a lot of choice too. For example : Ferrets usually have a variety of beds in their cage to choose from. The sheep can eat their hay from the floor, from their manger, or sometimes from the hay bag out in their yard. In the summer after the museum is closed to visitors, lemurs have a choice to hang out inside, or to be in their outside holding yards. Owls get plenty of perches. Wolves have three feeders to choose from. Etcetera, etcetera.
I’d love to know what you do in your life to enrich it, to give yourself choice. My toothpaste thing translated into an idea for bears: I sprayed three different scents on toys in their yard– they can explore whichever they want.
Leave me a comment if you’d like to share. Who knows, maybe your idea can be translated/ morphed into some enriching thing we can do for our animals!