Creating ice block cakes for enrichment


Cook K, Lowe D, Schlegel ML. 2009. Creating ice block cakes for enrichment. In Ward A, Treiber K, Schmidt D, Coslik A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Eighth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Tulsa, OK.


Animal enrichment has become an essential part of caring for captive animals in a zoological setting. There are various types of enrichment, which include social groupings, exhibit design, sensory stimulation, and different feeding strategies. One of the most common types of enrichment is feeding strategies. Ice blocks filled with various vegetables and fruits can be used to enrich animals. Ice blocks are a very good source of enrichment because: 1) they are low in calories, 2) they keep animals preoccupied for a long time, and 3) the animals can easily manipulate the ice blocks. The ice blocks can be used for many different species of animals such as elephants, rhinos, monkeys and apes, and bears. Care should be used with ice blocks for any animal if there are dental issues.

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