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Behavior Enrichment ProgramThe pride of Seoul Grand Park, introduce Seoul Zoo.

Behavior Enrichment Program
Seoul Zoo puts considerable effort into protecting the endangered animals and plants.
As a part of these efforts, the Seoul Zoo conducts a species conservation movement. Nature, animals, and plants are severely damaged by human activities, such as the destruction of the environment, indifference, poaching, and overhunting. Seoul Zoo offers considerable efforts to protect endangered animals and plants through species conservation studies.

What is Enrichment?

It is a program developed to encourage 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, and building homes. On the other hand, in the limited space of the zoo where they cannot be in contact with 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 greatly different from that of nature, which causes a large amount of stress and various abnormal behavior patterns, the most common of which is called Stereotypical Behavior. This 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 for 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 encourage 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

    Enrichment of Display Environment
    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)
  • giraffe that is taking its food out of the water tank with its tongue.

    Food Enrichment
    In order to encourage their innate food-seeking behaviors, we 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.
  • Meerkats living in a group

    Social Enrichment
    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 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

    Sense Enrichment
    No matter where they live, on the land, under the ground, in the trees or in 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 animals 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.
  • positive reinforcement training Asian Elephants.

    Cognitive enrichment
    It is also referred to as 'play enrichment' and gives mental stimulation to animals. Positive Reinforcement Training These include new things, food, and puzzle feeding devices.
    • New smell
    • Unusual food
    • positive reinforcement training Asian Elephants.
  • 2003
    Introduced the Enrichment Concept to Seoul Zoo
    The program has been applied to gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees.
    This was the first zoo in the country to facilitate the program and was very successful in applying various enrichment programs in a very limited environmental area.
  • 2005
    Research Meetings Established
    Employees interested in the animal behavior enrichment program may voluntarily decide to participate in the research meetings held once a month to discuss about new theories and training ideas.
    Today, we share our ideas with other domestic zoos to help them implement animal enrichment programs.
  • 2006
    Nurturing Professional Volunteers
    Anyone, ranging from animal lovers, to university students, may volunteer together with various curators and breeders to observe animal behaviors and create enrichment tools.
    Once an activity is finished, volunteers will write reports and share their results with each other.
  • 2007
    Production of the “Behavior Enrichment Manual”
    Created professional documents that contain essential information regarding safety guidelines for animal behavior enrichment, providing others with an easier access to the latter.
  • 2008
    Education for Children
    Started educating children about animal behavior enrichment as well as animal welfare, allowing them to grow as educated individuals. The children learn more about monkeys, giraffes, tropical birds, hyenas, and many more animals, naturally.
  • 2009
    Applying the Enrichment Concept to Renovation
    Employees interested in the animal behavior enrichment program may voluntarily decide to participate in the research meetings held once a month to discuss new theories and training ideas.
    Today, we share our ideas with other domestic zoos to help them implement animal enrichment programs.
  • 2011
    Competition for New Ideas
    The public can participate in this competition. Out of the 312 entries received, 20 ideas were selected to be displayed and applied to the animals.
  • 2012
    Development of Food Containers
    Developed a 24-meter-high chimpanzee tower on which food can be placed at the top in order to allow greater movement and decrease mundane orthopedic movements.
  • 2013
    Production of the “Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior Enrichment”
    As a celebration for Seoul Grand Park’s Seoul Zoo’s 10-year anniversary, a 600 page “Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior Enrichment” was produced. This book was sent to various organizations, such as other zoos and animal protection institutions, to inform people about animal enrichment programs and promote their application.

Resources related to the Enrichment Study Group can also be found http://cafe.naver.com/animalucc

Primates

  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • Chimpanzee

Herbivore

  • Formosan Deer
  • Horse

Carnivore

  • Tiger
  • Jaguar
What can we do to enhance the lives of our pets?
Does the pet living in your house look bored? Perhaps they are tired of the same old mundane lifestyle? Do you know that birds, hamsters, and fish also suffer from obesity or diabetes? The enrichment process for these animals is a lot easier than you may imagine.
We must provide pets with an enrichment program that goes further than from mere external conditions such as food and toys, but that relates to mental enhancement.
  • Cats

    • Tie cat toys to a fishing line and throw it to them
    • Provide paper and boxes of various sizes to allow greater movement
    • Provide window shelves with differing levels of height
    • Use a laser pointer or a flashlight to illuminate the floor or wall so that they can run after it
  • Birds

    • Provide special meals other than the basics (boiled and unbaked pasta, rice, popcorn, dried vegetables and fruits)
    • Move the cage to another location (Must be without ventilation)
    • Hide food in short socks, paper boxes, or non-toxic leaves
  • Dogs

    • Change their walking trails
    • Scatter food nearby their cage and hide food inside toys
    • Give them an empty 2 L water bottle