Enrichment

Besides the day to day cleaning and feeding of the animals, the animal keepers are also responsible for Environmental Enrichment and Training.  Environmental enrichment is the way we promote species-appropriate behavior, while giving the animals choice over their environment.  Check out the pictures below to see some examples of enrichment and training in action.  And if you are interested in being a part of our Enrichment program, you can help the animals by purchasing enrichment items for them.

Simply go to http://www.sanctuarysupplies.com/sanctuary_wishlist.asp?id=1212 .

OR  Wildlife Toy Box – Enrichment items

There you will find a wishlist of items that we could use to better care for the animals here at the zoo.  You can purchase these items from Sanctuary Supplies or Wildlife Toy Box and they will be shipped directly to the zoo.  Keep track of your donations because they are completely tax deductible!


We also accept tax deductible donations specific to enrichment which can be made using the DONATE PayPal button above, or by mailing:

The Utica Zoo, Donations Dept, One Utica Zoo Way, Utica NY 13501

Please write “Enrichment” in the memo.

Our Kinkajou, Thelma likes different types of food enrichment.

Our Kinkajou, Thelma likes different types of food enrichment.

Sometimes our sea lion, Munchkin, just likes to relax next to her ball.  This is a form of manipulative enrichment.

Sometimes our sea lion, Munchkin, just likes to relax next to her ball. This is a form of manipulative enrichment.

Our goats will jump and play on the old tractor tires in their exhibit.  This is an exhibit feature that never seems to get old for them.

Our goats will jump and play on the old tractor tires in their exhibit. This is an exhibit feature that never seems to get old for them.

Even training sessions can be enriching.  Porter is learning to play frisbee.

Even training sessions can be enriching. Porter is learning to play frisbee.

Sometimes enrichment can fall into different categories.  These mealworm filled eggs were food, sensory and manipulative items for the cotton top tamarins.

Sometimes enrichment can fall into different categories. These mealworm filled eggs were food, sensory and manipulative items for the cotton top tamarins.

Mixed species exhibits can be continuously enriching.  Our Golden-headed Lion Tamarin, Charlie, loves to share food with the Rhinoceros Iguanas, Stubby and Blackfoot.

Mixed species exhibits can be continuously enriching. Our Golden-headed Lion Tamarin, Charlie, loves to share food with the Rhinoceros Iguanas, Stubby and Blackfoot.

Hours and Admisson

April 1 to October 31: Open 10AM until 4:45 PM
November 1 to March 31: Open 10AM, admission/gift shop closes at 3PM & Zoo gates close at 4PM

Admission 4/1- 10/31 11/1- 3/31 & Group
Child 3-12 $4.75 $2.50
Adult 13-61 $7.75 $4.25
Senior 62+, Military, College w/ ID $6.75 $3.50

Upcoming Events

Dec
19
Fri
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Forever Antlers
Zoo Adventures – Forever Antlers
Dec 19 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Forever Antlers
Join our monthly preschool program as we explore the world of animals through storybooks! Each session includes a story, animal meet and greet, snack, and activity. The cost is $5.00 per child for members and $10.00 per child for non-members. Child admission included and Adults are free. The class meets in the auditorium at 10:30am.
Dec
23
Tue
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Holiday Special
Zoo Adventures – Holiday Special
Dec 23 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Holiday Special
Join us for a special holiday Zoo Adventures. Story, craft and of course, animals! Free for Members, $5.00/ child for non-members, adults free.
Dec
27
Sat
10:30 AM Dangerous Defenses – Zoo Explorer
Dangerous Defenses – Zoo Explorer
Dec 27 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Dangerous Defenses - Zoo Explorer
Dangerous Defenses-December programs will focus on the different ways animals keep themselves safe. Antlers and Horns and Prickly Thorns! Animals protect themselves in an amazing array of ways. Join zoo educators as we learn about animal defenses. We will meet a few of our education animals and tour the zoo. This program is free with your admission and recommended for ages 5 and up.
Dec
31
Wed
11:00 AM Happy Zoo Year
Happy Zoo Year
Dec 31 @ 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Happy Zoo Year
On New Years Eve (Wednesday, December 31st) the Utica Zoo will be celebrating “Happy Zoo Year” from 11 to 1 pm in the Auditorium. Madagascar the movie will be shown on a projector screen. Kids will be able to participate in arts & crafts, and animal meet & greets. There will be a Hot Chocolate toast at Noon with free cookies on the side. Regular Winter Admission. Free for Members. The Utica Zoo is open on New Years Day.

View Calendar

Zoo Blog

  • Santa takes a photo with a child at the Utica Zoo Holiday Hoot.
    Holiday Hoot 2014

    December 14th, 2014 – The Utica Zoo welcomed Santa Claus and visitors to the annual Holiday Hoot today. Children were able to get their pictures taken with Santa by Whitesboro Fun Pix, and also let Santa know what they wanted for Christmas. Chuck E. Cheese stopped by to give tokens to kids, and take photos as well. Docents and educational staff brought out animals that the whole family could interact with. The mild temperatures made it a perfect day to walk around the Utica Zoo and see all the animals on exhibit. Children participated in arts and crafts in the Auditorium. Visitors enjoyed hot chocolate and coffee, along with free cookies and candy. People brought gifts for our animals from Read More

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