Curry enrichment for lynx

Carpathian lynx cubs, Dick, Dom and Daphne, went wild as they sniffed out a new scent in their enclosure.

dzg_lynx_curry_4

dzg_lynx_curry_4Big cat keepers tried out a mixture of curry powder smells on the five-month-old triplets as part of their latest enrichment playtime by dousing a hessian rag in the strong-scented powder and attaching it to a zip wire!

Senior Keeper, Adam Walker, said: “This was the first time we tried out curry powder on the triplets, but as it’s National Curry Week we thought we’d give it a go. We didn’t know how they would react to it, but they loved it and immediately started to sniff the sack and pull it about the zip wire. I think because curry powder has a blend of different spices in it, there were a lot of smells for them to take in. We’ll definitely use it again on them.”

dzg_lynx_curry_4

DZG keepers regularly use different scents on the site’s lions, tigers, lynx and snow leopards as enrichment, including herbs, spices, perfume, body sprays, stuffed sacks, plastic barrels and animal skins, which all encourage natural hunting, tracking and foraging behaviour.

dzg_lynx_curry_4i

Adam added: “Big cats in the wild obviously don’t eat still stuff, they have to catch it first and because we can’t give them live prey we have to make the prey come alive for them.

“By attaching the sack to the zip wire makes the lynx work for it as it moves forwards and backwards and up and down, but is also a fun type of exercise for them as well as it gets them moving.

dzg_lynx_curry_4

“They can grab hold of the rag and pull at it, which works all their muscles. It also gets their heart rates going, keeping them fit and healthy.”

See the lynx cubs sniffing out the curry powder in the video below…