FRESH PRODUCE ITEMS MAKE FOR GREAT ANIMAL ENRICHMENT.
Last October Zookeeper David Blaszkiewicz posted a blog about a start-up garden here at the Zoo. The plan was to grow fresh produce that is not normally included in our animal diets, but items that would make for a great special treat (enrichment) for the animals. The Zoo’s enrichment garden is now in its third year and although it provides some local, seasonal produce, it’s not nearly enough for all the animals – all summer long. Last year David’s blog ran too late to ask you to consider donating some of your excess homegrown produce. This year, however, we’re hoping the timing is right and you would be willing to send a share of your garden bounty our way! As David puts it, “If you are up to your armpits in green beans, don’t forget your furry, feathered and scaly friends at the John Ball Zoo.” (no pesticides, please)
Last summer, keeper Dan and I hatched the idea of starting an enrichment garden for John Ball Zoo animals. Novel food items (treats) are one facet of enrichment, defined as items and activities designed to stimulate the animals brains' and keep them engaged and active.