Everyone’s heard of dog walking but have you heard of pig walking!?

Our keepers walk our pigs daily for exercise and enrichment. This enrichment is not only good for our pigs but it’s also great for the hyenas and tigers to name a few, as the pigs often explore their outdoor areas whilst they are safely inside. Wellington really enjoys rolling around in the hyena’s sandy area and Miranda enjoys playing chase with Wellington in the tiger enclosure. They both enjoy a run on the car park too as well as a general wonder in the zoo with the keepers as they follow their targets in return for a treat. Once the pigs have left the area the hyenas and tigers access their outdoor areas again and have an abundance of smells to discover!

There are many forms of enrichment and one of the ways we do this is by using the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste. When the Kune Kune pigs explore, they will be spreading their scent. This form of enrichment allows them to experience different scents, encouraging natural behaviours and instincts as the other animals will smell what they think is prey.

There are many forms of enrichment. Each type has a different application and can be as varied as the animals they’re for. Some forms of enrichment are simple, while others can get quite complicated and expensive. The overall aim of Colchester Zoo’s enrichment programme is to provide a mentally and physically enriching environment specific to each species in our care.

For more information about environmental enrichment please click here.

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