Animal Enrichment FundAnimal enrichment is a very important part of animal care. Enrichment creates a more stimulating environment while encouraging species-typical behaviors. The keeper staff at Northwest Trek provide activities that challenge our animals, offering environmental stimulation and physical and mental exercise. Enrichment is as essential to animal health and well-being as proper nutrition or medical care and helps to provide a better overall quality of life.
Types of Enrichment
Northwest Trek staff provide a variety of enrichment to stimulate all of our animals' senses and encourage a wide range of natural behaviors. Types of enrichment can vary from scents, puzzles, toys, or foraging challenges. However, all enrichment is designed to mimic those challenges found in nature on any given day.
For instance, in the wild, wolves use their excellent sense of smell to track prey and to communicate their territory. Zoo keepers create scent trails that lead our wolf pack to their diet hidden in the exhibit or spritz perfume to encourage rubbing and scent marking behaviors. An animal’s diet is frequently used by zoo keepers to increase hunting and foraging activity.
Diets are put in puzzle feeders, frozen into popsicles, buried under rocks, hung from branches, and even presented in whole form for the animals to crack or peel. Zoo keepers may also give “toys” like whole coconuts, gourds, antlers, balls, barrels, and Kongs.
You can help us provide enriching environments for Northwest Trek’s animals by donating to our Animal Enrichment Fund. Donations will be used to purchase items like feeder balls, mirrors, training supplies, special food treats, chew toys, and more.