How to entertain a giant...
Wednesday 7 August 2013
Keepers entertain giant Galapagos tortoises at ZSL London Zoo
While parents spend the summer holidays trying to find ways of entertaining the kids, zookeepers at ZSL London Zoo have to constantly come up with new ways of entertaining the animals.
In the hot and humid world of the giant Galapagos tortoises, zookeepers have come up with an innovative way of serving lunch for the long-necked reptiles. Keepers have threaded bamboo with brightly-coloured vegetables which the huge reptiles have to grasp and pull on with their beak-like mouths.
Part of ZSL London Zoo’s extensive enrichment programme, activities like these encourage the animals to work for their food or inspire mental challenges for them – helping to keep them active and fit.
Deputy team leader of the Reptile House, Iri Gill said: “Galapagos tortoises aren’t always thought of as particularly inquisitive creatures, but these animals have brilliant minds and personalities, and we need to keep them both mentally and physically active.
“Coming up with new ways of keeping them stimulated can be a challenge – we don’t want them to get used to something or figure it out too quickly. But that challenge means the keepers get some enrichment too!”
Regular target training is another form of enrichment for the giant residents