Climbing, scratching, digging, foraging, sniffing, rubbing, chewing, stalking, scent marking and problem solving are just a few of the many diverse natural behaviours animals exhibit when living in the complex and stimulating environment of their natural habitat.
Welcome to the the wonderful world of enrichment - what we do at ZSL London Zoo to recreate situations that will encourage animals’ natural behaviours.
Find out some examples of different enrichment done around the Zoo below.
On a hot summer's day, our military macaws love to tuck into frozen treats. Ice lollies are specially made by keepers and contain walnuts, dates, pecans, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and orange juice.
Our tiger keeper sets up an enrichment "toy" for ZSL London Zoo's Sumatran tigers to get their teeth into.
Puzzle feeders provide environmental enrichment for the ring-tailed lemurs as they have to maipulate the feeder to get to the food inside. Primates like lemurs are natural problem solvers so these are important enrichment tools.
By encouraging natural, desirable behaviours through different forms of reinforcement, operant conditioning provides enrichment to the animals and ease of management to the staff working with them.
Find out all about enrichment at ZSL London Zoo in our short video.
Spices are used as part of the Asian lion’s enrichment to stimulate their natural curiosity. Keepers scent areas of their enclosure or their food to encourage them to get sniffing and re-mark their territory. Catnip, a trail of ginger, and chunks of meat are laid around their enclosure.
This giant waxy monkey frog enjoyed a spooky snack this halloween at the Zoo. A miniature pumpkin was filled with flies to stimulate his natural curiosity.
In the Reptile House, keepers use large prey items (such as deer, chicken or whole carp) to feed the Phillipine crocodile. This mimics wild behaviour as the crocs have to break the food down into smaller pieces as well as vastly increasing processing times.
Gorilla enrichment video
Find out all about the novel way we keep our gorillas cool and enriched in the heat of summer.