Zoo Animals Open Wishlist Surprises - NBC Southern California
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Zoo Animals Open Wishlist Surprises

The Santa Barbara Zoo beasties have an enrichment toy dream list.

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    ON THE LIST: An Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball is one suggestion, as are a few creative dog toys. An anonymous donor's gift made the zoo's Facebook page on Friday, Dec. 19, in fact, when the institution posted a photo of a golden lion tamarin peeking at a Kong inside a freshly opened cardboard delivery box. It's tempting to anthropomorphize animals, indeed, but we can't help but think the tamarin has the same look that we all do when we open a new box. "Oh goody, what's in here, something I'll like?" Yeah, we all share that look.

    ANIMAL ENRICHMENT: The zoo has a page devoted to its enrichment program, and how it keeps its denizens' minds active and their hands/beaks/paws busy. One such enrichment plaything caught a lot of sci-fi fans' hearts back in November: Staffers built a Doctor Who-style TARDIS for two female African lions, complete with non-toxic paint. It still looks like a big blue scratch pole to us, which we love, or maybe one of those carpeted playhouses cats like to jump around. It turns out enrichment is fun, indeed, and getting mind-busy toys in boxes is a pleasure for species beyond humankind.