What's Happening: Christmas for the Animals

9:07 AM, Dec 1, 2012   |    comments
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(WZZM)- Enjoy the "unseasonably" warm weather this weekend with a couple of out-of-the-ordinary events in West Michigan.

The John Ball Zoo is holding its annual Christmas for the Animals. It's an opportunity for the public to get a behind-the-scenes look at some unique animal care that happens all year. It's called animal enrichment and it involves creating activities for the animals so they can continue behaving as they would in the wild.

Some of the enrichment activities include scattering food throughout animal compounds to encourage foraging; putting peanut butter inside of logs or hidden compartments to force animals to use fingers or tools; or giving a chimp a bubble bath just because they love it.  

The event is free, as long as you bring one enrichment item. The following is a list the zookeepers have compiled to enhance the enrichment experience.

Food items:

  • Dried fruit
  • Granola bars
  • Milk bones
  • Pig ears
  • Jelly
  • Unsweetened cereal
  • Mixed nuts (in the shell)
  • Syrup, molasses, and honey
  • Jell-O
  • Cooking extracts
  • Oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Non-microwavable popcorn kernels

Non-food items:

  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Cuttle bones
  • Hunting lures
  • Socks
  • Phone books
  • Hula hoops
  • Paper cups
  • Rawhides XL
  • Carabineers clips
  • Gallon freezer bags

Christmas for the Animals is Saturday, December 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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