WILDERNESS TRAILS ZOO

11721 Gera Rd Birch Run, MI 48415

Open May thru October

Enrichment Program

What is Enrichment?

        Enrichment is something that the zoo provides for our animals everyday.  It can take many forms, including new food items, interesting objects in enclosures or a new exciting habitat design.  Enrichment is a very important component in the overall health of our animals because it stimulates species specific behaviors, challenging them mentally and promoting physical activity.

What is the Enrichment Program?

        The Enrichment program was created to enrich both the lives of our animals and guests.  Through our program, small groups (usually 30 people or less) that visit our animals, may assist with the enrichment of our animals lives and witness some species specific behaviors.  This results in both our guests and our animals having a more fulfilling zoo experience.

How does it work?

        When you make a reservation for your group let us know you are interested in participating in this program.  Listed below are several projects that have worked well in the past.  Groups choose one or two projects, create them at home and then bring them to the zoo on their scheduled day.  Now here's the fun part, upon arrival at the zoo, a keeper escorts the group around the park dispersing the projects to the appropriate animals!  The group gets to watch as the animals eat, tear up or play with the guests' creations!  Please note that due to USDA regulations and for the safety of our guests and animals, a keeper will distribute the projects to the animals. 

***Reservations are required and spaces are limited.

Projects:

        Fruity Mops: You will need 6 cotton mops (ones you find at the dollar store work very well) and a box of Fruit Loops cereal (or something similar). String about one handful of cereal on each mop head.  Feel free to be tricky and string them all through the mop in small quantities.. this encourages the monkeys to use their fingers and brains to find the treats!  Continue until all mops have cereal. Animals: Primates

        PB Cones: Chop up fruits and vegetables (dried fruit may also be used), mix with peanut butter and use to fill ice cream cones or smear on bagels.  Just about any fruits and vegetables will do (apples, grapes, blueberries, peas, broccoli, plums..  etc. but do not use Iceburg lettuce).  A couple dozen cones works well.  To make a treat for the parrots, add  seeds and nuts to the mixture.  Animals: Parrots, Primates, Bears

        Fruity Vines: Cut assorted fruits and vegetables and string them on 10 licorice laces.  Enjoy watching  the parrots use their beaks and feet to get their treats!  Animals: Parrots

        Papier-mache: Using balloons and newspaper make pinatas with an opening at one end (large enough we can put in a piece of chicken) Watch the big cats bat them around their pens! Make as many as you wish. Animals: Carnivores

***If none of these projects sparks your interest, you may also bring an assortment of cut up fruits and vegetables and a dozen raw eggs and we will hand them out to the appropriate animals.  Examples include: Apples, Oranges, Carrots, Pineapple, Melon, Strawberries, Grapes, Blueberries, Peaches, Corn, Bananas.... just about any fruit or vegetable will do... EXCEPT Iceburg lettuce.

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Enrichment