Design Enrichment Toys

Keepers spend a lot of time developing creative enrichment ideas. You can help us brainstorm on how to keep enrichment new and exciting by submitting your own novel enrichment design.

First, start with some extensive research on the animal you would like to design a toy for. Remember, enrichment is meant to encourage natural behaviors as well as promote mental and physical activity. We also strive to provide enrichment that carries a good educational message, so naturalistic items that blend well into our habitats would be ideal.

Your device must be:

  • SAFE — it can NOT be swallowed, torn, ripped or broken (and then swallowed), can NOT trap or entangle the animal and can NOT cut, poke, scrape or injure the animal in any way!
  • Non-toxic
  • Sturdy, durable and indestructible
  • Easily cleaned
  • Produced economically
  • Keeper friendly- easily constructed, not labor intensive
  • Easily carried in and out of the exhibit

To submit your design, please complete this form. Please understand that all enrichment ideas must be approved by our Animal Care Staff, Behavioral Programs Coordinator and Veterinarian. Some ideas may be unsuitable for the animals and/or their exhibit. If your idea is accepted, you will be notified and receive a photograph of the animal with your enrichment device. This photo, with credit given to YOU, might even be displayed in the enrichment slideshow located on this website!