Adri: We can also move some of the furniture around in the yard. Last fall, we placed a hammock bed made of upcycled fire hose in the enclosure which cheetah Echo shares with her four cubs. New furniture, like this, gives the cats new perspectives and height as they survey their habitat. These beds also are a comfortable place for the cheetahs to lay in the sun or under the platform for some shade.
A couple of years ago, we put hay bales in front of the cubs’ hut to act as a wind barrier. Those cubs thought that was the most fun thing. They were leaping on top of the bales, tackling them and tearing them apart. It turned into a giant mound of hay, but they had a blast.
: Enrichment can be as simple as the elements (i.e. temperature outside), vegetation or water features within an animal’s habitat. This is sometimes referred to as “environmental enrichment”. The Washington, D.C., area usually sees some snowfall in the winter. Some of our animals have a blast in the snow, while others don’t seem to care for it very much. One of our Amur tigers, Pavel, falls into the former category.