Enrichment for Humans: Build a Lemur Paradise
Animal care professionals like the ones who work at the DLC have a big job making sure that the animals in their care stay happy and healthy. A big part of an animal’s wellbeing is its environment. In this activity, we’ll design our own environment for a lemur living in a place like the DLC.
Background: Many zoos and animal care facilities like the DLC play an active role in the conservation of wildlife. By taking part in conservation breeding, reintroducing animals to the wild, and educating the public about protecting endangered species, many zoos can make a significant positive impact towards saving species. These institutions have an important responsibility to provide an excellent quality of life to the animals in their care. When zoos design exhibits for animals, they are not only concerned with the health, safety, and enjoyment of the animals living there, but also how the public view the animals. A well-designed exhibit not only is better for the animals, but can also be more effective at engaging visitors.
What you’ll need:
Paper and drawing supplies
Optional: materials to build a model (foam board, clay, etc.)
- Imagine you are creating a zoo exhibit for a lemur. Choose which species of lemur you would like to design the exhibit for. If you need some inspiration, watch some of our Virtual Tour videos at lemur.duke.edu/virtual-tour.
- Create an exhibit design that best suits this lemur’s needs. Consider how the lemur moves, what it eats, and how much space it might need. Think about what kind of habitat it would have the wild, and how many lemurs would be living together. Make sure that your design is safe for the lemur, and that they can’t escape!
- Now, consider how you can mesh what the lemurs need with how visitors can view them – can you install glass walls? Will visitors look inside buildings? Get creative!
- Draw your exhibit design. Be sure to label features, indicate where the visitors would look in to view the animals, and how keepers would enter to clean the exhibit. Note how large the exhibit is, as well.
- Share your designs with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to tell us your favorite parts of your design!