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- If human beings wanted to live in the wild, there would be much preparation involved.
Likewise, there must be much preparation and consideration for wild animals to live with human beings. Initiatives and research are needed to allow wild animals to live with human beings by providing them with an environment having similar conditions to their original habitats.
We haven’t neglected our duty of making efforts for human beings and wild animals to live together successfully.
- It is a program developed to induce the wild animals in the zoo to behave as they do in nature and reduce abnormal behavior by providing them with a similar environment to that of nature. This is called the Behavior Enrichment Program.
- Animals in the wild spend most of their time and energy looking for food, keeping their territory, evading predators or building homes.
On the other hand, in the limited space of the zoo where they cannot contact real nature, animals are provided with a regular diet and exhibited near other animals that they would never meet in the wild.
- The environment that animals have in the zoo is largely different from that of nature, which causes lots of stress and various abnormal behavior patterns, the most common of which is called Stereotypical Behavior.
It defines all abnormal behavior such as repeating the same action in the same space or rocking the body forward and backward like a dance, and includes self-inflicted injuries such as biting limbs and pulling out hair or feathers.
In addition to those abnormal behaviors, obesity is another serious problem to animals in the zoo since it may cause various kinds of diseases.
As a result, we’ve developed the ‘Behavior Enrichment Program’ so that we may induce the wild animals in the zoo to behave as they would in nature and reduce abnormal behavior by providing them with a similar environment to that of nature.
- Play structures using wood and iron constructions
- This technique is used to enrich the animals’ behavior by changing the physical and environmental factors in the exhibition halls.
- Swimming pools or mud pits where they can take a mud bath
- Sunlight-shelter facilities using living or artificial plants
- Ropes connected with each other placed in different heights and locations
- Floor materials designed to stimulate their sense of touch (Floor materials to induce innate digging behaviors)
- In order to induce their innate food-seeking behaviors, we mostly use the Food Enrichment Program.
- It is effective to supply food with unique textures or flavors, hide food in places where they cannot find it easily or place food in a puzzle box so that they must exert effort to get it out of the box.
- Giraffes living in a group
- If animals have a tendency to live in groups in the wild, it is appropriate to have them build a proper social structure for themselves.
- We try to have them get along with the same species to build a social group
- In the case that individual animals are outcast from the groups, we will shelter and feed them separately.
- Displaying animals with other species (but it should reflect the true natural environment.)
- A Japanese monkey showing interest in perfume sprayed on a bag
- No matter where they live, on the land, under the ground, in the trees or under the water, all animals have their own strategies for survival.
Most predators depend on their sight more than other senses when looking for prey. On the other hand, some other animals look for food by using their acute sense of hearing.
- In addition, there are some other cases where they use the senses of smell and touch, such as when parent animals constantly lick their offspring so that they may recognize the body smell or odor from their parents in order to create an intimate relationship.
- Sense of Smell : We scatter various kinds of spices or fragrances around the exhibition area.
- Sense of Hearing : We have the animals listen to the cries of predators, other animals of the same species or other sounds of nature.
- Sense of sight : By providing them with shelves of different heights to sit on, we give them the chance to observe the movements of spectators or other animals.