DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — You might have a list of everything you want to buy for your loved ones this Christmas, but does that list include some animals?
Scovill Zoo is asking you to keep them in mind this holiday shopping season. They’ve even made a list of things you can buy to help their animals if you don’t have some of your own.
They need all kinds of things – everything from necessities like food and scratching posts to what they call “enrichment items”.
Some examples of those are puzzle feeders for meerkats. Those make it a little harder for them to get their food, which adds a fun challenge to their day. They also suggest buying a spice rack for the wolves or monkeys. Zoo keepers say the wolves especially love to roll around in the different smells. You could also buy fun foods like granola bars or apple sauce. Zoo keepers use those to hide pills in so the animals are more likely to take them.
“It kindof breaks up their day and makes them work a little harder for their food or gives them something to play with throughout the day or interact with. So, we’re always looking at ways to enrich our animals of all their senses – with taste, with smell, with sight, with audio. A lot of fun ways to enrich our animals,” said Scovill Zoo Director Ken Frye.
Scovill opens back up on April 4. They’re adding a new pavilion and an area where you can feed birds like parakeets or budgies off of sticks. Scovill also accepts donations any time of year.
A list of their specific needs can be found here.