Dudley Zoo has been giving their pigs and ferrets some interesting enrichment recently.
For shrove Tuesday the zoo’s family of seven micro-pigs. While they are not normally feed pancakes keepers could not resist indulging Ernie, Hamm, Chuck, Wilbur, Brian and their parents Poppy and Harley.
Currently the little piggies are 2 years old and living on a diet of pig nuts, fruit and veg so pancakes were a special treat.”
You can watch a video of the piggies enjoying their pancakes below.
Meanwhile in the discovery centre the ferrets had a workout centre constructed for them by a Dudley College student.
The zoo’s three ferrets Shadow, Smokie and Storm have been enjoying their time in their cardboard construction it also has a practical application in helping them work off their winter kilos. As there are not as many Little Zoo Keeper and Birthday Party programs for them to participate in meaning they are not as active.
Dudley Zoo presenter Pam Midwood said, “It’s particularly important at this time of year to give the ferrets plenty of time to play and run around.”
The system was constructed by Abi-May Hanaphy who undertook work placement in the education block.
She said, “It’s great to be able to come here as it gives me a real perspective on what being a zoo keeper is all about.”
“You get to do such a variety of work including cleaning, preparing food and feeding as well as chance to quiz the keepers too,” she added.
The ferrets definitely enjoyed their device as Midwood explained, “They really liked the structure that Abi-May put together. Ferrets are naturally nosey and are very keen on enrichment exercises.”
Dudley Zoo has a partnership with Dudley College who run Level 2 and 3 courses in Animal Management to provide the work placements.
Matt Lewis the curator for Dudley Zoo said, “We were the first zoo to set up such a programme with a neighbouring college and it has proved a success. Each year DZG provides work placements to give students practical experience.”
“This academic year we will have between 60 and 80 students on site gaining hands-on experience of what being a zoo keeper involves,” he added.
“The work placement programme works really well. Students each get up to three days behind the scenes with us which gives them a real snapshot of the whole role.”
You can watch the ferrets enjoy their winter workout below.
Photo Credit: Dudley Zoo