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
4
Thu
10:30 AM Zoo Adventures – Bundle Up!
Zoo Adventures – Bundle Up!
Dec 4 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Zoo Adventures - Bundle Up!
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
6
Sat
10:30 AM Dangerous Defenses – Antler Anti...
Dangerous Defenses – Antler Anti...
Dec 6 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Dangerous Defenses - Antler Antics Story Time
Dangerous Defenses-December programs will focus on the different ways animals keep themselves safe. Tarkington Moose is losing his antlers! What can he do? Find out as zoo educators read a fun story and introduce you to a couple of education animals. Free with admission. 10:30am in the Auditorium.  
Dec
11
Thu
10:30 AM Homeschool Program – All About B...
Homeschool Program – All About B...
Dec 11 @ 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Homeschool Program - All About Birds
Our interactive classes help to further home school studies through group activities and animal interactions. 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
12
Fri
6:00 PM Night Prowl
Night Prowl
Dec 12 @ 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Its dark and its cold and we are thinking about our warm beds! Many animals however are just getting up. Join zoo educators as they introduce you to nocturnal animals and then lead you on an exploration of the zoo after dark. The evening will end with hot chocolate and treats around a fire. $5.00 per person for members, $10.00 for non-members, under 2 free. Please pre-register.

View Calendar

Zoo Blog

  • Zoo Keepers from the Utica Zoo feeding Camels.
    Utica Zoo adds new Camel Window
    November 15, 2014

    The Utica Zoo has a brand new window for the Bactrian Camels. Every day at 11:30am we open up the doors for a keeper talk and feeding. The window is at the bottom of the ramp going up to our overlook, so you are actually at face level with the camels. Visitors that come to this feeding get to see the camels eat their daily produce diet. Their snacks consist of bananas, carrots, lettuce, yams, and apples. You will be just a few feet away from them and be able to learn more about the Bactrian Camel species, and specifically about Nigel and Najla. We have gotten a wonderful response from everyone with this new window. Most people are shocked Read More

  • DHMexicanWolf16x20
    Utica Zoo celebrates Wolf Awareness Week
    October 14, 2014

    It’s Wolf Awareness Week at the Utica Zoo from 10/12 to 10/18. Although they are essential to the health of the ecosystem and keeping herbivore populations in check, wolves have been the subject of intense persecution throughout the centuries, and most species are either threatened or endangered due to myths and misunderstandings. Less than 100 individuals currently live in the wild. Mexican wolves are the most endangered gray wolf subspecies in North America, and our three females; Bella, Sierra and Aztec, are among the last of their kind. After becoming extinct in the wild during the mid-1900s, Mexican wolves are finally making a small comeback in Arizona and New Mexico, but there is still a long way to go. The Read More

  • ming yue
    Utica Zoo welcomes new female Red Panda
    October 10, 2014

    The Utica Zoo introduced a new female Red Panda today (October 8th, 2014). Her name is Ming Yue. She will join the male Red Panda Muse in the same exhibit. Q&A with Zoo Keeper Beth Ricci Why did we get a new Red Panda? We were recommended to bring Ming Yue to Utica as part of the Red Panda Species Survival Plan, which is a breeding and transfer plan. She was recommended to breed with our resident male, Muse. Where is Ming Yue from?  She came to us from the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, NY What is the breeding season?  Breeding occurs in winter, generally January-February. Breeding season is affected by photoperiod. Photoperiodism is the physiological reaction of organisms to the Read More

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