What is enrichment?

Enrichment is the process of providing stimulating environments for captive animals which allow them to demonstrate their species-typical behavior. It is also essential for maintaining mental and physical well beings of animals, which together can improve the welfare of captive animals. Many studies have shown that active enrichment programs can help reduce stress and abnormal behavior in captive animals, which benefits not only the animals but also the zoo owners and visitors.

Bernard Rollin, a well-known animal rights advocacy, proposed that we should respect the nature of the animal along with the beauty of the community. By animals’ ‘nature’, Rollin considered both biological and psychological natures. Biological needs in animals include food, protection and shelter, and psychological needs include adequate space, companionship, and stimulating environment. Providing enrichment is by far the most effective solution that can assure that captive animals can live happy lives consonant with their natures and as free as possible of pain, suffering, and distress.

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