Monday, August 11, 2008

Creature Comfort Day at the Cleveland Zoo

Saturday we spent the majority of our day at the Cleveland zoo. It was a special day because it was Creature Comfort Day. That is the day when the keepers give the animals special enrichment activities to let them use their natural skills and challenge them. Right at the beginning were some free give aways--hats and enrichment toys for our pets. We got a real nice adjustable cap, a rubber toy for our neighbor's dog that they can put peanut butter inside, a couple cats toys for our cats, included one I made myself! It's a ball with a bell inside with a rope through it. (My cats sniffed it some and walked away.)

Me trying to get Spunky Doodle to play with the handmade toy.

Playing with Manny with my handmade toy.

There is so much going on at the same time that you have to choose which ones to watch. We chose the lions, the polar bears, the tigers, the orangutans and the African Savannah tour which included giraffes, vultures, and zebras, and gray parrots. For the lions and the polar bears, a paper mache' animals was put into their exhibit that contained food for them inside it.

The polar bears also got a watermelon! The idea is to let the animals use their natural forging skills and work at getting the food like they would in the wild. They seemed to enjoy tearing it apart.

The tigers got bones that were frozen in a giant popsicle and dumped into their water. They seemed to enjoy fishing them out.

The orangutans had some baby food put inside a hole in their door and they used a small branch to stick in and scoop it out with like we would use a spoon.

The giraffes were given a bunch of leaves on some branches that were strung up high for them to chew off. They really liked that and the one chased a Canadian goose that invaded their exhibit until it finally flew over the fence.

The vultures were given bones with meat still on them which they devoured as a team. Two of them would pull on it together getting the meat off.

For the zebras, they just spread their food around so they'd have to hunt for it.

The cranes were given extra bugs but they were inside a paper mache' lady bug which they had to poke at to get the bugs out.

Different kinds of fruit were hung in the gray parrots' cage that they had to work for a little bit to get.

The keeper of the African Savannah animals said for those with dogs, you can spread some of the food around the back yard for them to hunt for to give them a little challenge and let them use their hunting skills.

We had a good time and the weather was on the cool side which is perfect for the zoo. We would have longer, but me feet were starting to hurt a little and Gerard wanted to wash the car. I took some video with my Flip camera, but it didn't come out very well because we were too far away. The zoom isn't very good on the flip camera so sorry, no video to show you this time.


Daisy said...

What a great day to go to the zoo! My Mommie is always trying to think of things to "challenge" me. Her latest crazy idea is to hide some of my dry food all over the place.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to the zoo in years. It sounds like you had a great day. I would like to thank-you for the prayers for my son they are much appreciated...Jude

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