The Shape of Enrichment Workshop
Change For Animals Foundation is working in partnership with Animals Asia to improve the welfare of wild animals housed in zoos and government-run rescue centres, set up to accommodate animals confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade in Vietnam.
By joining forces with wildlife enrichment experts and key stakeholders, CFAF is working to train local staff in appropriate animal management, focusing on the need to provide environmental enrichment to minimise physical and behavioural problems associated with restrictions and stresses linked to a life in captivity.
In September 2013, CFAF and Animals Asia co-hosted a workshop in Hanoi that explored ways of improving the welfare of wild animals living in captivity. Over 60 staff from 14 different zoos and wildlife rescue centres from throughout Vietnam participated.. ‘The Shape of Enrichment’ workshop included lectures on topics such as animal enrichment and staff training. In addition, practical sessions taught staff how to build various species-specific enrichment structures (for example, hammocks, bamboo feeders, etc.), to demonstrate easy and inexpensive changes that can be made to improve the well-being of animals housed in captivity.
Whilst CFAF maintains that the keeping of wildlife in captivity for the purposes of entertainment is not ethically justifiable, where wildlife holding facilities do exist, we believe it is important to improve conditions for the animals to ensure the highest welfare standards possible. In the case of rescue centres, the animals will often remain in these facilities for the remainder of their lives, as reintroduction back into the wild may not always be feasible. Providing the best possible care for those animals is therefore of primary concern. CFAF is committed to working collaboratively and in partnership with animal protection organisations and facilities housing wildlife to make positive and lasting change for animals.