Cheetah Outreach
Cheetah Outreach

Promoting the survival of the free ranging, Southern African cheetah through environmental education and delivering conservation initiatives.
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Animal Enrichment for Guests
 

Cheetah Outreach now schedules enrichment for guests as a way of enhancing their visits to Cheetah Outreach.  Providing more opportunities for guests to view enrichment activity and interaction between animals and their care-takers is a way to engage visitors and get our conservation message across in a more compelling way.  Seeing an animal interacting with enrichment showcases its special behavioural qualities and provides an opportunity for guests to learn more about the animals and their natural behaviour.

The focus of guest enrichment is on the small carnivores who tend to be more active during the day than the cheetahs and who are more visible to the public.  Feeding in the morning and afternoon is one of the best times to watch enrichment activity and observe natural behaviours, and has become very popular with visitors.  During feeding guests may watch our servals jumping and climbing for meat, grabbing meat out of a plastic tube or pieces of food out of water, showcasing their fishing ability; our caracal Malaika climbing a pole for meat, showing off her power and agility; our jackals racing around the enclosure searching for hidden or scattered food, showing what great foragers they are; or our meerkats trying to grab food out of any object with their long claws. 

We also offer enrichment outside feeding times when there are guests around.  Some favourite activities are encouraging our female serval Legacy to chase and jump for feathers or toys on a whip, showing off her incredible athleticism; taking our meerkats on walks and allowing them to forage as they would in the wild; and performing positive reinforcement conditioning with our jackals that challenges their cognitive skills and shows off their amazing intelligence.

Increased activity on the part of our small carnivores improves the chances of seeing these animals, and allows staff and volunteers to interact more with the public.  Instead of just talking to guests about what makes each species unique, we can show them.   Guest enrichment allows our animals to be ambassadors for their wild counterparts by doing what they’re built to do best. 

   
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