Animal Health & Welfare

It is important for pets, zoo animals and farm animals to stay healthy. Animal scientists study  how animal housing and feed can affect health. Animal scientists also address welfare concerns in animal production.

Animal Science Illustration

Animal Enrichment in Zoos

Many of us enjoy visiting zoos to see wildlife animals. These animals are taken care of a lot different than everyday pets or farm animals. A type of care called animal enrichment is very important to zoo animals. Animal enrichment is meant to improve the animals’ environments and care based on their natural behaviors and instincts.

The most important types of animal enrichment are normally environmental. Environmental enrichments have to do with the animal’s surroundings. Animals need to explore and be able to fulfill their natural instincts. These environmental enrichments help the animals in many different ways. Enrichments help both physically and socially.

Environmental enrichments can help lower an animal’s aggression and abnormal behavior. Physical activity and the overall survival rate of the animals can also improve with enrichments. Both physical and social enrichments can be seen at the zoo by any visitor.

For example, a visitor to a gorilla exhibit will likely see gorillas in groups or interacting with zookeepers. Both of these interactions are types of social enrichments. A visitor may also see certain traits in the gorilla’s living space that seem odd. Certain presentations of food items or items of play are types of physical enrichments.

Each form of enrichment must be safe and support the animal’s well-being. Zookeepers perform a large amount of research and practice with enrichments. They need to do this in order to get the best results for the animal. Enrichments provide a type of support system for each species.

Jr Animal Scientist

A Jr. Animal Scientist membership is a great way for kids to learn about science and the animal world.

Through the Jr. Animal Scientist magazine and special online resources, kids can learn about pets, farm animals and zoo animals. Scientific information is tailored for kids ages 5 to 9 (K-3rd grades). Eye-catching photos and exciting animal activities add to the fun! Plus, all Jr. Animal Scientists get special prizes just for joining.

Join today