Here at the Phoenix Zoo we strive to provide the best lives possible for our elephants. We believe in providing a relaxed environment where the elephants can spend most of their day just being elephants. Our elephants are not pressured to perform, we only ask them necessary husbandry behaviors such as presenting their feet for daily checks and presenting their ears for blood draws. We aim to give our elephants as many opportunities to exhibit natural behaviors as possible. One main way we do this is by offering all their hay in hanging hay nets to simulate browsing. These hay nets also increase the amount of time it takes the elephants to consume their daily ration of hay. We also either hide their treats or present them in puzzle feeders to help increase their foraging time. Elephants in the wild will forage for 18-20 hours a day so increasing foraging time in captivity is very important. Not only does increasing their foraging time keep our elephants busy for more of the day but it also helps to drastically decrease the stereotypical behaviors often observed in captive elephants.Click here for more info on our elephants.
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to live a day in the life of an elephant keeper at the Phoenix Zoo? Well now you can! Just write a comment and a real life elephant keeper from the Zoo will answer any questions you may have! Happy blogging!