Back        Behavioral  Enrichment


Animals have emotions and feelings. In some respects, animals have basic physical and mental health needs which are similar to our own. They include food, shelter, and in many cases, privacy for breeding as well as general peace and quiet for just doing 'their own thing'.

In the wild, much of the animal's mental health has to do with eating, or being eaten. In the comfortable environment of a zoo, devoid of predators and competitive pressures, animals get bored easily. And boredom is a zoo animals greatest enemy, affecting both their physical and mental health.

 Behavioral enrichment tries to evoke the natural stresses of the wild and bring out the animals natural instincts and reflexes. These techniques aim to stimulate all of the senses, mostly through the use of food and feeding styles.

One enrichment technique is to suddenly change the features of an animal's enclosure. This adds zest to the animal's life as it tries to figure out what happened, and to reclaim the enclosure as its territory.

In many species, especially the mammals, play is serious business. It is vital to ensure a good state of mental health in the animals. An essential element for most wild animals is competition with other species. This is the thinking that lies behind Lupazoo's preference for mixed exhibits, displaying more than one species together. The resulting heightened alertness leads to livelier behavior.