The Calgary Zoo is dedicated to providing the proper diet to each animal in our care. Every effort is made to provide food in a manner that meets the nutritional, behavioral and social needs of our animals, while following food safety guidelines. The zoo now offers a set schedule of viewing times.
How does it work?
Feeding time for our animals provides the opportunity for us to engage their senses. Food may be placed in challenging to get locations, large pieces of food may be given to our carnivores for them to grab with their claws and chew with their teeth, food can be scattered or hidden around their enclosure so our animals have to smell or search for it, or placed inside special tubes, balls, or boxes where they have to use their brain to solve how to get the food out.
ll of these are forms of 'enrichment' for our animals. Sometimes the animals may even get non-food enrichment, such as scents or spices placed around their enclosure for them to smell.
How does it benefit our animals?
Animal feeding is just one part of the zoo's enrichment program; the mission of the program to promote natural behaviors and facilitate mental and physical activity.
For our carnivores, large pieces of meat on bones is important for their gums and teeth, while the feathers or hair, skin, and tendons are beneficial for their digestive system (roughage).