Saturday was a busy day. First, we volunteered at Crafty Mart, and then we went to the zoo. Saturday was an Enrichment Day at the Akron Zoo, so we had to go enjoy the nice weather and get some more practice with the camera. Enrichment days are when the zookeepers put new and interesting toys into the animals’ habitats to add some variety to their life. Usually, it’s something they can explore or destroy, or a big toy with food hidden inside. It’s meant to stimulate the animal’s natural instincts and it sure is fun to watch.
We got there in time to see the red panda’s enrichment time and it was well worth it. The red panda is so bossy and stompy and adorable. He reminds us of our Lemon. (I know… red pandas are not pets!) On Saturday, the red panda’s enrichment included a paper mache dinosaur and some extra bamboo. He also had some training time, which allows the keeper to look him over to make sure he’s healthy and to give him any medication he needs.
Did you know that red pandas aren’t pandas at all? They are so unique that they are now in their own family.
We love the Akron Zoo. Many vegans or animal activists question the ethics of zoos, but I think they are necessary because I think most people need to see something in order to care about it. Zoos also allow us to conserve animals who are nearing extinction due to human practices like logging, cattle ranching (that destroys 1,000’s of acres of forest every year), and sprawl. The Akron Zoo is great because you can see everything in about 3 hours, and they focus a lot of their education programs on conservation efforts. A few years ago, the Akron Zoo was included on the Ohio Solar Tour because of their green buildings.