BALTIMORE, Md. (WHTM) — You thought you were a party animal this Fourth of July? Well, think again!
Zoo keepers at the Maryland Zoo surprised their chimpanzees, miniature Mediterranean donkeys, kunekune pigs, goats, alpaca, and black-tailed prairie dogs with Fourth of July festivities. Each animal received a red, white, and blue box filled with their favorite foods.
Although this may seem like a fun festivity, there is actually a serious reason behind the exercise. Everyday, the Maryland Zoo “Animal Team” works to create enrichment activities for their animals. This includes are activity that helps to keep the animals mentally and physically engaged.
Enrichment helps the animals demonstrate their species-typical behavior as they would in the wild. Just as an animal would work to get their food in the wild, these Fourth of July boxes gave the animals a fun and stimulating reward to work for. This kind of activity is very important for the animal and their overall well-being. Enrichment is just as important as proper nutrition and veterinary care.
You can learn about Mediterranean donkeys (equus asinus asinus), and all the animals at the Maryland Zoo, here.