Animal keepers at the Houston Zoo are constantly thinking of new ways to enrich the lives of the animals in their care. Reptiles and birds often lay infertile eggs whether they have mated or not. The Zoo’s two female ostriches frequently lay infertile eggs, we don’t have any male ostriches…….so, in the spirit of “reduce, reuse, recycle”, we find an interesting use for these eggs. No, we don’t make giant omelettes!! Sometimes we give one to our awesome Komodo dragon “Smaug”. Dragons are meat eaters but they like eggs also. As you can see below the egg is too big for him to swallow whole and this presents a challenge.
The egg rolls away from him and he has to pin it against something and bite it to crack it. Of course all the yolk runs out and he tries to suck it up and usually eats some or all of the shell. Smaug doesn’t wind up getting to eat much of it but it gets him excited and keeps him busy for a while! Take a look.
We strive to continually come up with things to keep our animals busy and to elicit natural behaviors. This is just one of the many fun aspects of taking care of the animals we love.
Written by Judith Bryja.
Enrichment Day at the Houston Zoo is Saturday, September 24th. This is a great opportunity to come and join in the fun. Come out and see all of the animals enjoying special enrichment, hear keeper chats and loads of fun games for kids of all ages! Enrichment Day celebrates the meaning and joy of enriching our animals and visitors!
Find your favorite animals and see what they’re wishing for at Amazon.com. Then just sit back, shop, click and send your animal of choice a wonderful gift to enrich their life! They really do appreciate it and so does the Houston Zoo!