Have you ever made or purchased a toy for your pet – perhaps a chew toy that hides a dog treat or a set of perches for your cat to climb? We do the same with the animals at the Walt Disney World Resort! Enrichment is a significantly important part of our day-to-day animal care, and it helps ensure that all of the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are happy and healthy.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests are learning more about designing enrichment for animals on their way to Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
Enrichment encourages animals to do what comes naturally and use their behavioral and physical adaptations. For example, the red river hogs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and the rhinos on Kilimanjaro Safaris love to wallow in mud pools. For our small mammal and bird friends at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, natural behaviors include digging, foraging, shredding and climbing.
The Science Operations Team is inviting our Guests at the Wildlife Express station to create their own enrichment items from recycled and repurposed materials that will be given to a variety of small mammals and birds.
Using recycled plastic cards, paper and cardboard tubes, you might create a puzzle square that keepers can hide seeds in, a colorful hanging decoration for birds and mammals to shred or a small paper-stuffed tube for animals like rabbits to enjoy.