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Animal Rescue Center Creates New Eating Exercises

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Animal Rescue Center Creates New Eating Exercises

The Pingtung Rescue Center in Taiwan has been challenging their animals with various tasks to make sure they are physically and mentally active, and to rehabilitate their natural instincts.

Animal keepers in the center have been placing food in various locations, requiring more effort to find it. For Formosan black bears, food is put in tree holes. The bears have to climb in the trees and use their sense of smell to find their next meal. Macaques have their food wrapped in parcels, which they have to take apart.

One explanation for engaging the animals with more challenges, is that it is better for their mental health. A article on the topic published in Taiwan Panorama states, “Once the [animals] are in captivity, it is like putting a person in a prison cell-they easily become anxious and then all kinds of ‘stereotyped behaviors’ appear, and the animals can even engage in self-mutilation.” The food challenges help stimulate mental activity and help rehabilitate the animal’s natural instincts to work to find their food.

The Pingtung Rescue Center rescues animals that were illegally smuggled, sold, and abandoned, from Taiwan and other nations. Some animals come from private zoos or circuses, and other animals come from families who bought the young endangered animal as a cute baby pet, and later abandoned it when it grew older and more unmanageable.

Wild animals evolved to live and move in much larger spaces than they inhabit when they are in captivity. So they need more strenuous activity in order to have a normal and healthy life. Linda Tseng, an animal keeper there said, “This is a new idea we are trying out to make life more fun for them!”

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7:36PM PDT on May 10, 2011


2:55PM PST on Feb 16, 2011

thank you

2:55PM PST on Feb 16, 2011

good idea

5:24AM PST on Feb 16, 2011

Thanks for the info.

5:02PM PDT on Sep 3, 2010

I saw a video on that

5:19PM PDT on Aug 29, 2010

it is so strange to read about this in taiwan. the last image i have from this place is a tiger, suspended in mid air, with chains binding each paw.

5:43PM PDT on Aug 28, 2010

It is so great that they are working on increasing the animals natural instincts.

3:47PM PDT on Aug 28, 2010

Animals being treated with humanity. What a concept!

5:38AM PDT on Aug 28, 2010

This is so lovely :) It's a great idea - I wouldn't have thought that animals needed mental exercise, but they actually share so many human characteristics that it's not surprising - kudos to this animal shelter, it's doing a great job :D

4:48AM PDT on Aug 27, 2010

Thanks for sharing.

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