Enrichment for Elephants
Providing enrichment for the elephants is more than just providing a “toy” for them to play with. Enrichment items target specific needs for each individual elephant, from increasing movement to stimulating their senses to prolonging foraging. Enrichment plays an especially important role in cooler months when the elephants spend less time out in their habitat, choosing instead to stick closer to the warm barns.
We utilize enrichment items to increase natural behaviors by adding something new and exciting to the elephants’ environment.
At The Elephant Sanctuary, common, everyday items are repurposed for enrichment including fire hoses, tires, culverts, Christmas trees, etc.
To ensure that all items are safe for the elephants, Veterinary and Elephant Care Management are involved in the design process, and they give Care Staff the final approval on all enrichment items. Volunteers from around the United States have helped Care Staff by making enrichment items as well, from cardboard tubes filled with popcorn to hay tires stuffed with hay and bamboo.