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Elvis the black crested macaque has been working out in his enclosure after keepers at Newquay Zoo presented the monkey with a new enrichment ball. The black crested macaque enclosure at Newquay Zoo already contains swinging ropes and a climbing frame. Now, keepers have added a new piece of equipment - a medium wizard ball from Zoo Wizards.

Elvis was spotted exercising by doing circuits with the 600mm diameter ball around his enclosure and lifting it above his head. The ball is part of the environmental enrichment programme at Newquay Zoo, providing physical and mental stimulation.

The wizard ball allows them to improve their balance, physical strength and agility. Not only does it come with physical benefits, but it also helps them to increase their social activity. Education and Research Officer Kathy Baker comments: “Adding new objects for the animals to investigate helps to reinforce those important social bonds within the group. It also often stimulates play behaviour between juveniles.”

Once Elvis had figured out how the ball worked, the other macaques soon followed suit. Kathy adds: “It’s important to provide a complex environment and the addition of novel objects that the animals have never seen before. This helps to challenge them mentally as they have to work out exactly what the new object is and whether it’s going to eat them or whether they can eat it!”

Providing animals with enrichment is hugely important and allows them to exhibit natural behaviours. The charity zoo hosts an Amazon Wishlist, which details the types of things people can buy and donate to benefit animals at the zoo.

 

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