Shape of Enrichment Workshop: China animal managers learn enrichment creation

23 May 2012

In April 2012 Animals Asia collaborated with the China Association of Zoological Gardens (CAZG) and “The Shape of Enrichment”to organise a four-day enrichment workshop for 46 animal managers from 25 zoos and safari parks across China. The workshop was held at Zhengzhou Zoo.

The Shape of Enrichment is dedicated to promoting environmental enrichment for captive animals, encouraging improvements in animal welfare through education and international exchanges of enrichment theory and application.

The enrichment workshop was designed to enable attendees to create and implement enrichment plans at their institutions.

Jackson Zee demonstrating target training. (left)

Chinese zoo delegates receiving certificates. (right)

Co-ordinated by animal welfare officer Lisa Yang and animal welfare assistant Xin Pei, and delivered by experienced instructors, Mm. Valerie Hare and Mr. Jackson Zee, the workshop proved to be a great success.

Novel enrichment item placed in the big cat enclosure at Zhengzhou Zoo.

Valerie Hare gave a series of lectures, covering topics of environmental enrichment definition, planning, implementation, and data collection and assessment. Knowledge which enables the attendees to implement enrichment plans in their individual institutions. Jackson Zee delivered presentations on training animals in captivity including the use of target training.

Zoo staff enriching animal enclosures. (left)

Zoo staff building enrichment structures. (right)

Participants had the opportunity to put their new knowledge into practice and carried out enclosure enrichment of Japanese macaque, Asiatic black bear, cockatoo, macaw, racoon dog, palm civet, wild boar and llama enclosures at Zhengzhou Zoo, instantly improving the captive environment for these specific animals.

Asiatic black bear enclosure before and after enrichment with active, stimulated bears.

We hope to see the knowledge and skills learnt from this training workshop being put into practice at all participating zoos and so further improving the welfare of captive animals throughout China.