Zoo Enrichment Weekend

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Zoo Enrichment Weekend

Posted: 07/10/2006
Fun activities and unique gifts are a sure thing during Enrichment Weekend at Knoxville Zoo July 15-16 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Enrichment is anything that provides zoo animals with extra stimulation, invokes problem-solving skills and encourages natural behaviors. It is something as simple as different types of food to eat or a plastic ball to play with in an exhibit. These activities allow visitors to see the animals being very active and encourage animals to invoke behaviors as they would in the wild. African Wild Dogs will demonstrate their speed and hunting skills while being enriched with a coursing lure. The lure travels on a string through a preset path set up in the exhibit. Live fish will be given to otters and lions will be given a tasty treat to devour. Other enrichment activities and keeper chats are scheduled throughout the day at various exhibits.

 Times and locations of enrichment activities will be posted throughout the zoo. Zoo animals will not be the only ones having fun. Visitors can participate in their own enrichment activities by viewing a painting demonstration by African elephants at the Stokely African Elephant Preserve, and then participating in their own “elephant artwork” by painting like an elephant. A table near the front gate will display different materials used for enrichment.

The zoo will also host an animal art sale in the Plaza Pavilion. The sale will feature a gallery of paintings and prints created by lions, chimpanzees, meerkats, tigers, penguins, and other animals. Magnets, note cards, casts, and other novel gift ideas will be available. Nature and animal photos as well as artwork created by zoo staff are also for sale. All proceeds help fund the zoo’s enrichment program. Knoxville Zoo is located off exit 392 from Interstate 40 and is open every day except Christmas Day. The zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education.

Currently, the zoo is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865.637.5331 ext. 300.