Animal management students from the IW College recently created a range of enrichment pieces for the primates at Monkey Haven in Newport.
Sarah Pulman, animal keeper, visited the IW College to discuss what type of enrichment is used at Monkey Haven, and focused on what they could make out of rope and animal-safe wood.
Sarah then delivered a workshop to teach the students how to create their own enrichment pieces. She said: “We made hanging wood feeders for the marmoset’s gum, and for the use of other primates. Several ladders were made using wood and rope and the students were very creative finding different ways to tie, knot and weave the rope to make hammocks. We also made bottle feeders for all the primates by threading rope through large plastic bottles.
“The capuchins love their rope hammock and are always playing on it. I did warn the students it may not last long though as the capuchins are experts at destroying things!”
All animals have evolved distinct patterns of behaviour, and the inability to engage in these behaviours can cause the animals to be frustrated and bored, which can eventually lead to stress and the development of abnormal behaviours.
Enrichment is a crucial part of caring for animals as it increases the opportunities for the animals to express their normal patterns of behaviour. The primary goals of enrichment are to reduce stress and and improve the overall wellbeing of the animal.