How the Chahinkapa Zoo Keeps Animals Active in the Winter

Although the Chahinkapa Zoo is closed to visitors, there's still a lot going on

Although the Chahinkapa Zoo is closed to visitors, there’s still a lot going on.

“Every animal in the zoo gets some sort of enrichment and so we do that because in the wild they’re constantly moving around,” said Addy Paul, Lead Zookeeper of the Chahinkapa Zoo. “They’re hunting, they’re looking for mates, looking for a new place to sleep for the night. So we want to keep them occupied. We want to keep them happy and stimulated and active so that way people can see how exciting they are when they’re moving around and hunting.”

“We have different objects, different scents, we do visual things,” added Paul. “We even play music for the animals to give them a different auditory sound…something they haven’t heard in a while. Primates, I must say, are probably the hardest to do enrichment for because of their intelligence level. We have to make sure that their enrichment is going to stimulate them all day.  We do scents like pepper, cayenne, almond extracts. We do visuals, movies, different color waters. We spray the snow with colored waters to give them something different to look at,” said Paul.

“For food enrichment, we’ll hide food in the snow. You know, sometimes for the tigers we’ll even make a snowman and hide food in there for them so they have to work for it,” she added.  “We are making sure that they are having something new every day. Something new and exciting, like Christmas every day.”

The zoo is scheduled to reopen on April 22nd.

For more information about the Chahinkapa Zoo and updates on their construction, visit their website .