Animal enrichment day at the Montgomery Zoo

Animal enrichment day is Saturday, July 16th at the Montgomery Zoo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come out and watch the animals interact with each other as well as with visitors.

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.

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.

Zoo staff members hope that through this enrichment day, visitors will practice enrichment activities with their pets at home.

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 Animal Enrichment Day, 19 exhibits including lions, tigers, bears, elephants, and more will showcase many different forms of enrichment.

Visitors can 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 taking place around them.

The Schedule for July 16th is as follows:

10:00      Tigers

10:10      Rhinos

10:20      Elephants

10:30      African hoofstock

10:45      Chimps

11:00      Siamangs

11:15      Cheetahs

11:30      Lions

11:45      Enrichment Theatre

12:00      Black Bear

12:10      Cougar

12:20      Lynx

12:30      Otters

12:45      Jaguars

1:00        Ocelots

1:10        Maned Wolves

1:20        Golden Lion Tamarins

1:30        Squirrel Monkeys

1:40        Spider Monkeys

1:50        Sloth Bear

MONTGOMERY ZOO INFO.  Hours of operation: 9:00am – 5:30pm (Last ticket and major exhibits begin closing at 4:30pm). Combo admission to the Zoo and Mann Museum is: Adults $14, Children (3-12yrs) $10, Toddlers (2yrs and younger) FREE.  Zoo only admission is: Adults $10, Seniors (65 yrs and older) $9, Children (3-12yrs) $7, Toddlers (2yrs and younger) FREE.  Montgomery Zoo members are FREE.  Train ride: $3 per person. Giraffe Encounter: $2 per person. Pedal Boats: $8 for the first person, $10 for two, $12 for three and $14 for four; maximum of four passengers per boat, 30 minute ride. Horse Trail Ride: $5.00 per person, per ride.

For more information about this event or about the Montgomery Zoo, contact them at (334) 240-4900 or visit their website at  The Montgomery Zoo is also on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Youtube and Flickr.