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6421 E. 36Th Street North
Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, the Tulsa Zoo seeks to inspire passion for wildlife in every guest, every day. Open 363 days a year, the Tulsa Zoo hosts more than 620,000 guests each year, making it the largest attraction in the Green Countr... more.
Both bears participated in training sessions with the Tulsa Zoo's Curator of Behavioral Husbandry, Marcie Tarvid.
Training helps the animals become more comfortable with their new environments and allows keepers to interact and more easily examine animals in their care. Monty especially enjoyed his training sessions with Tarvid and his keepers. "Monty was always eager to engage in any activity we had planned for him," said Tarvid, "He always made me smile as he would rush to his spot for a training session any time of day and was a willing and keen student,"
Sea lions can swim in both, but saltwater is preferable because they are more familiar with it, said Marcie Tarvid, the zoo's curator of behavioral husbandry.
Dorsey and Briney, both born in captivity, have never swum in the ocean. In a zoo environment, sea lions require a great deal of activity and enrichment - or opportunities to play with objects and solve problems, Tarvid said. In response to concerns about the captivity of wild animals such as sea lions, Tarvid said it is useful to observe the animals' contentedness; activity level, compared with sea lions in the wild; physical fitness; and ability to rest at their leisure. Based on these criteria, Tarvid said the Tulsa Zoo is "doing a really good job." "They interact with their environment a lot," she said.
"Dorsey is engaged," said Marcie Tarvid, the curator of behavioral husbandry at the zoo.
Tarvid added: "It was basically an old-fashioned pool. Adding to the collection is something the zookeepers are excited about, Tarvid said. "It will be fun to see more than two swimming around," she said.
"In environmental enrichment, because you're pretty much changing the animals' environment, the goal is to increase animals' choices added to the environment," said Marcie Tarvid, curator of behavioral husbandry.
"It has many benefits. It gets them physically active and hopefully mentally active too." Zookeepers will place items in their habitats, such as papier-mache puzzles and blood or fruit flavored ice on a stick. "It's like a task, something that gets them moving and going," Tarvid said. "We'll freeze something, like fruitcicles for the zebras and gazelles, and they can go out and lick them. Or not. For the lion cubs, we'll have papier-mache animals, and the birds might get live fish or a cricket or grasshopper." Tarvid said the enrichment items are not simply treats for the animals. "We're always really careful about what we use. We're not going to feed and animal with a small amount of sugar in their diet something high in calories," she said. "Even though it's a fun day for them, a lot of what they're getting is in their normal diets." Enrichment day is a good day for people to understand their own pets a little better, too. "It's a great way for people just to think about what they can give their animals at home," Tarvid said.