Enrichment is creating and setting up activities to challenge our elephants physically and mentally; encouraging the elephants to be active and enriching their mind. Anything that involves problem solving is great to make elephants think. Enrichment is vital for keeping elephants happy and healthy! Elephants are very intelligent so a variety of games and food is used to keep them interested and engaged.
Volunteers cut grass and buy fruit from the local shop as tasty rewards for our elephants. Volunteers often find enrichment an extremely rewarding project to be involved in, which really does help our elephants and is one of the best times of the day to watch the elephants!
One of our volunteers Fran took it upon herself to design a new enrichment toy. This involved Fran finding a large thick plastic container, getting an electric drill and making holes large enough for an elephant’s trunk to fit into.
Fran then cut up some fruit and put it inside the container, she then attached the container to some rope and tied it high up in the tree.
The lucky elephant who first came into enrichment that day was Bandara, he wondered up to the tree to investigate this new hanging object.
Here is a picture Bandara checking out the new toy.
Bandara decided to investigate the container a little closer, he pulled it from the tree and started to check he had got all of the fruit.
This is how the container looked after!!
Another idea was to tie rope around the grass, this made the elephants have to think!
Here is Rani with the tied grass, she has worked out she can pull the grass through the rope by stepping on the rope!