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Face your fears and phobias at the Montgomery Zoo’s Animal Enrichment Day, Saturday, February 10, 10am-2pm

Post Date:02/09/2018 3:21 PM
PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Date: February 8, 2018
Contact: Steven C. Pierce | (334) 306-4253
Email: scpierce@montgomeryal.gov 

Face your fears and phobias at the Montgomery Zoo’s Animal Enrichment Day, Saturday, February 10, 10am-2pm

MONTGOMERY ZOO (Montgomery, AL): Join the Montgomery Zoo Saturday, February 10, 10am-2pm, for Animal Enrichment Day. Tour the Zoo during the “Fears and Phobias” themed event and observe how animals respond to an assortment of new creative and behavior-stimulating enrichment items. More than 20 species will take part in the semi-annual event, including the red river hogs, tigers, rhinos, chimps, hippos, jaguars, and elephants. Presented in the form of special toys, unique scents, puzzles, boxed goodies or food treats, the enrichment items provide Zoo animals with both mental and physical exercise.

“Our animals’ well-being, health, and happiness is supported through opportunities to smell novel scents, taste different flavors, and explore new puzzles,” said Zoo Director, Doug Goode. “Enrichment keeps them active and engaged while reproducing their natural behaviors.”

With the event’s intriguing theme of “Fears and Phobias,” guests may need to prepare themselves to see lots of spiders, oversized rodents, buoyant cutout sharks, bugs, dark spaces, items falling from the sky, and maybe a clown or two. The Zoo consults with national animal enrichment databases developed by government agencies and other zoos for assistance in selecting enrichment items. Zoo staff members evaluate enrichment items and approve them based on certain requirements. The goal of Animal Enrichment Day is to safely stimulate and reproduce behaviors that are natural for each animal in the wild. Placing different stimuli in the animals’ environment allows animals to use their five basic senses while they exercise. It is a lot of trial and error, but it is always fun.

The Montgomery Zoo provides enrichment to its animals on a daily basis, but this often takes place out of view from the public. Animal Enrichment Day allows the Zoo to share a daily activity with our guests and present it on a grander scale.

The schedule for the day is: 
10am         Red River hogs, giant food
10:10am   Asian hoofstock, veggies and browse
10:20am   Tigers, bones and skeletons
10:30am   Rhino, veggie monster
10:40am   Elephants, alligator buoys with floating fruits/veggies
10:50am   Chimps, yellow items and yellow foods
11am         Siamangs, hanging ghosts and tombstones
11:10am   African hoofstock, veggies and browse
11:20am   Cheetah, oversized cardboard rat cutouts
11:30am   Black bears, creepy dolls
11:40am   Lions, oversized, veggie spiders
11:50am   Giraffe, items hanging from hay baskets
12pm         Squirrel monkeys, treat-filled Halloween buckets
12:10pm   Spider monkeys, ladder 
12:20pm   Flamingo, faux campfire
12:30pm   Pygmy hippo, clown statue/cutout
12:40pm   Capybara, bamboo forest
12:50pm   Lemurs, big box filled with treats
1pm           Maned wolf, large chicken cutouts
1:10pm     Reptile House, snake shaped lettuce and celery
1:20pm     Jaguar, large, cardboard shaped cockroaches
1:30pm     Otters, buoyant cutout sharks, with fish/meatballs
1:40pm     Cougar/Lynx, paper anaconda 
1:50pm     North American hoofstock, veggies and browse

Also, make plans to swing by and see our pygmy hippo calf and mother.  They will be on display in a special exhibit in our South American realm, adjacent to the flamingos.  The male calf was born on January 31, and made his public debute on Thursday, February 8.  The mother and calf will be on exhibit daily for a limited number of hours, pending any animal husbandry needs.  Please check with the Zoo’s Admission staff upon arrival for additional information concerning hippo calf display hours.   

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The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum is open daily from 9am - 5:30pm with the last ticket being sold at 4pm. Animal exhibits begin closing at 4:30pm. Discount combo admission to the Zoo and Mann Museum is Adults $20, Children (3-12 years) $15, and Toddlers (2 years and under) Free. Regular admission to the Zoo only is Adults $15, Children (3-12 years) $11, and Toddlers (2 years and under) Free.

The Montgomery Zoo and Mann Wildlife Learning Museum is a 42-acre zoological facility located minutes from the heart of historic, downtown Montgomery. The Montgomery Zoo features five continental realms housing over 500 species of animals from Africa, Asia, Australia, North America and South America. Adjacent to the Zoo is the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, housing the one of the Southeast’s largest collections of preserved North American wildlife and artifacts. 

The Montgomery Zoo is a Department of the City of Montgomery, Alabama
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