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Philosophy of environmental enrichment: Past, present, and future

, : Philosophy of environmental enrichment: Past, present, and future. Zoo Biology 20(3): 211-226

The brief tenure of environmental enrichment has been influenced both directly and indirectly by the field of psychology, from the work of B.F. Skinner to that of Hal Markowitz. Research on enrichment supports the supposition that an enriched environment does indeed contribute to a captive animal's well-being. Critical elements of effective environmental enrichment are 1) assessing the animal's natural history, individual history, and exhibit constraints and 2) providing species-appropriate opportunities, i.e., the animal should have some choices within its environment. This paper presents a historic perspective of environmental enrichment, proposes a broader, more holistic approach to the enrichment of animals in captive environments, and describes a framework or process that will ensure a consistent and self-sustaining enrichment program.


DOI: 10.1002/zoo.1021

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