Animal Enrichment Program

 What is Enrichment? 

Environmental enrichment encourages animals to use their natural abilities and behaviors to interact with their environment. It increases activity and offers an opportunity for animals to make choices and experience new things like they would in the wild. Zoo New England’s enrichment program nurtures the environmental needs of our animals. Animals spend a considerable amount of time and energy finding food, building homes, defending their territories and escaping predators. Life at the Zoo is a little more predictable than the wild as most of their resources are provided for them. The animals need to be offered additional ways to expend energy. By examining the way an animal acts in its natural environment, we can recreate similar situations here at the Zoo. Whether an animal prefers to forage through leaf litter for seeds, burrow into the ground to hide, or stalk and chase its prey, its behavior is taken into consideration when creating enrichment.

Enrichment can be offered in a variety of different ways. The out of place items that you may see in the exhibits are all means in which we try to stimulate the animals. Zookeepers use novelty foods, sounds, smells, boxes, bags, and toys to provide activities that excite all the senses.

More on Enrichment...
Physical Environment
Food Enrichment
Social Groupings
Sensory Enrichment
Enrichment in Action
Enrichment Photos



Our enrichment program is funded by both monetary and goods donations. We often receive seasonal donations from orchards such as fresh pumpkins in the fall and unused Christmas trees in the winter.

For goods and service donations, please visit our Wish List. For more information please contact our Development office at 617-989-3760.

Other ways to support Zoo New England

  • Zoo New England has set up Wish Lists at and These items may be directly purchased from the site and sent to the Zoos.

  • Visit the Wish List section of  and type Zoo New England in the Wish List search

  • Visit and click on the Zoo New England tab. Purchases are tax deductible.

 To make a monetary donation, please send a check or money order payable to:

Enrichment Fund/Zoo New England, One Franklin Park Road, Boston, MA 02121. Or, make an online donation using your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. Be sure to include Enrichment Fund in the comments section to ensure your gift is processed properly.

Thank you to our Enrichment Program sponsor: