Montgomery Zoo hosts family event this Saturday | Events
MONTGOMERY, AL - When the sun rises on Saturday, July 16, it will find the Montgomery Zoo a frenzy of activity as the staff launches its 2011 Summer Enrichment Day. This will be no ordinary Saturday, as the event is the culmination of weeks of planning and preparation by the Zoo staff. From 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., visitors will be given first-hand experience and knowledge with the new and exciting practice called enrichment.
Every animal at the Montgomery Zoo is a valuable resource, providing opportunities for scientific observation and research, as well as giving young and old the chance to learn about animals and the important roles they play in the environment. The staff at the Zoo do everything they can to keep the animals healthy and happy, and that is what enrichment is all about. If an animal becomes bored or stressed, it is telling the zookeepers that something is not quite right and that they need to fix it. Enrichment can include rearranging the exhibit, hiding snacks that the animals must forage to find, or designing puzzling containers or play toys that provide interactive rewards and encourage the animal to use some of the same behaviors that it would in the wild. An active animal is healthier and happier than one that is feeling bored or stressed, and enrichment makes that possible.
Year-round, enrichment is occurring unannounced throughout the exhibits, but the Zoo devotes two days a year showing the public what enrichment is all about. For the 2011 Summer Enrichment Day, nineteen exhibits – including lions, tigers, bears, elephants, and more – will showcase many different forms of enrichment, from the peanut butter-covered stump in the black bear exhibit to the paper-mache zebra entertaining the lions. The jaguars will be challenged by a fishy treat hanging just out of reach, and the chimps will ask the age-old question – what exactly are you supposed to do with a hula-hoop?
Enrichment is an ever-growing and constantly changing effort that requires endless experimentation to find out to what each animal responds the best. On Saturday, July 16th from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., join the staff as they present the most recent of these efforts especially for you, the visitors. Watch the animals figure out puzzles and toys that many of them – and many of you – have never seen before. Beat the heat by taking advantage of the misters that have been placed in strategic areas all around the zoo, keeping observers cool and their minds and eyes on the fascinating and often funny things happening on every side – as the Montgomery Zoo comes out to play.
The City of Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum are open daily from 9:00am to 5:30pm. Discount combo admission to both Zoo and Mann Museum are: Adults: $14.00, Children 3-12 years old $10.00 and Seniors 65 and older: $14.00, Children 2 years and younger are free. The admission for adults to the Zoo is $10.00, senior citizens 65+ $9.00 and children ages 3 to 12 years old is $7.00. Montgomery Zoo members and children 2 years and younger are admitted free.
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