On December 21, 2009 the Assiniboine Park Zoo Animal Enrichment Committee received a wonderful Christmas present from the staff of the Pet Valu Better Nutrition stores. The six Pet Valu stores, located at 963 Henderson Hwy., 1670 Main St., 1600 Ness, 3326 Portage Ave., 200 Meadowood and 27 Marion St. banded together to raise money to assist the animals at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Pet Valu staff held Halloween Pet photos and Pet photos with Santa and generously donated the proceeds to the Zoo’s Animal Enrichment Committee. Close to $1,900 was raised and the staff and animals at the Zoo were thrilled to receive this generous donation.
The Zoo’s Animal Enrichment Committee is dedicated to improving the health and welfare of our animals by giving them new experiences to benefit their physical and behavioural health. Enrichment can also be used as a tool to assist in animal management and to enhance visitors experiences while at the Zoo.
Behavioural enrichment involves variation of the animal’s daily routines using items that require the animal to search for their food, adding new scents in their enclosure, introducing toys to play with, water misters for hot days and items to help alleviate stress. Enrichment comes in many forms from simple recyclable items such as cartons, sheets and towels to larger items such as fire hoses, lumber, PVC pipe and used street sweeper brushes for the Camels and other hoofed stock to rub against. Natural substances to enrich enclosures include items such as wood chips, burlap, soil, limestone blocks, logs and food items such as pumpkins, spices and exotic fruit.
The donation from the Pet Valu stores will go toward purchasing balls, toys, play tubes, enclosure enhancements, specialty foods and other items for our fish, birds, reptiles, small animals and monkeys.
THE ASSINIBOINE PARK ZOO SENDS OUT A BIG THANK YOU TO THE PET VALU STAFF AND APPRECIATE ALL THEY DO FOR US EACH YEAR!