As you might have read in older posts, or seen first-hand during one of your trips to the Aquarium, we often do enrichment sessions throughout the day with our seals. These are outside of our regular training sessions and allow us to interact with the seals using different "puzzles" and toys.
Northern fur seal at the Aquarium
Photo: N. Lipski
We've recently been trying to brainstorm some new ways to enrich the seals, so we decided to bring back an old favorite - Jello! We set it up in a similar fashion to the ice piles (that you might have seen in Lindsay's post here). We filled different molds with unflavored gelatin, cut it up into small pieces to put in a pile, and even hid some pieces of smelt or squid in for an added bonus.
As you can see in the video below, Roxie really got into this, diving into the Jello piles like she was in a pie eating contest! Sometimes she even pushed the small pieces of fish away to get to larger pieces of Jello. Being one of our visually impaired animals, this is a really great way to do enrichment with her because she can use her vibrissae (whiskers) to search through the Jello to find the fish, or just to find bigger pieces of Jello to eat!
- Erin W.