During the winter months, our petting zoo staff provides our animals with seasonal enrichment activities designed to encourage natural behaviors, keep the animals moving, and entertain them. Since fewer guests venture outside in the winter weather conditions, the staff creates different forms of enrichment to keep the animals from just sitting in their barns eating all day! Here are four winter-related activities that our petting zoo staff used this winter to keep our animals active.
As you drive around your neighborhood, you may notice many wreaths hanging on your neighbors’ doors. Well, our petting zoo staff created wreaths for our animals to enjoy as well. They made them out of lettuce and apples and hung them in the pens for Cletus and Zoe (our zorse and zonkey) and Norman and Ella (our Jersey steer and donkey.)
Playing with Christmas trees is a favorite activity for many of our animals. After the Christmas season ended, the petting zoo received many trees from staff members and other generous people for our animals to enjoy. CJ and Gomer, our camels, love to sit on the Christmas trees and throw them around, while our cow, Norman, loves to rub his head on the trees. Our goats, sheep, and wallabies enjoy having fun with Christmas trees as well.
Check out this cute video of CJ enjoying his Christmas tree this year!
Just like many of your children, our animals enjoy playing in the snow. Don't worry—all of our animals have access to their barns when it gets cold, but they do like to be out in the snow!
If you visit our sister attraction, the Ark Encounter, this winter, you might get to see the Ararat Ridge Zoo animals having fun during their enrichment time in the snow as well. See the video below of the Ark’s petting zoo goats “playing” with snowmen.
Our petting zoo staff also found ways to give our animals sweet treats around Christmas time as well! One way was through paper mâché feeders that looked like ornaments or presents. They were filled with apples, lettuce, and carrots, and a few even had horse treats for the animals to enjoy.
CJ and Gomer got to open presents this year. They received boxes that were painted to look like presents and contained apples, lettuce, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Our petting zoo staff even worked in scent enrichment by putting almond extract on the top of the boxes to make them smell like Christmas cookies!
When you make your plans to visit the Creation Museum, be sure to head out to the petting zoo and say hello to our animals. You may even get to watch our animals enjoy their enrichment activities! Using #creationmuseum, share your favorite pictures of our petting zoo animals with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.