Animal training and enrichment go hand-in-hand here at the Saint Louis Zoo. Both have to do with an animal's behavior and how they act and react to different situations.
With animal enrichment, keepers create zoo environments that provide a stimulating life for our animals, with opportunities to engage in natural behavior, be more active and have more control over their environment. Enrichment helps satisfy both the physical and psychological needs of animals and allows them to make choices. Enrichment can come in many forms: altering the animal's physical environment, modifying animal care, creating social groupings and increasing sensory stimulation.
Animal training is another form of enrichment as well as an animal management technique. Through training by positive reinforcement, animals voluntarily participate in doctors' visits, allow general housekeeping in their area and work with keepers while getting a pedicure or shower. This allows animals to receive the best care possible through their own willing involvement in the process, provides a challenge for them and offers the opportunity to earn a reward!