The second National Competition of Children’s Scientific and Research Works in the field of enrichment of the animal habitat “A Zoo of Harmony” took place in Feldman Ecopark.
The competition is aimed at exchange of experience on environmental enrichment for captive animals between zoos; training of young naturalists in work with animals, mindset formation essential for skilled staff of a modern zoo; to exchange experience on keeping conditions for the animals staying out of their habitat.
In addition to the young naturalists of Feldman Ecopark, delegations from zoos of Kyiv, Odessa, Mykolaiv and Rivne took part in the three-day event. 15 scientific works were presented during the competition.
“The environmental enrichment for captive animals is now one of the main parts of work of world zoos. European Association of Zoos and Aquaria conducts conferences and seminars for animal keepers. However, such events for young naturalists (future animal keepers) don’t exist, so we decided to hold a Competition of Children’s Scientific and Research Works in the field of enrichment of the animal habitat for young naturalists of Ukrainian zoos, “- the curator of the competition, the head of the Theatre of Children and Animals Anna Harazhina told.
The competition programme included open stand protection – an opportunity to share modern views on keeping conditions for the animals with visitors; a round table for group leaders – exchange of experience between employees from different zoos; an interactive tour, as well as a night tour and performance in the Feldman Ecopark’s Theatre of Children and Animals. At master classes, young naturalists from different cities together learned ways of enrichment that are used in Ecopark and other zoos. For example, they made sweet paintings and hammocks for apes, toys for predators and other elements of animal habitat enrichment.
Veronica Kogan from Kiev with the work «Efficiency assessment of substantive fodder enrichment of reticulated giraffe’s habitat in the Kiev Zoo.” got first place from the professional jury. Pupils of the Children’s Ecology and Nature Study Academy Feldman Ecopark Lisa Khadenko and Kateryna Kanevska with the work “Enrichment of the habitat of Belarusian gibbons.” took second place. Another Kyiv girl, Elizabeth Filippets, with the work “Efficiency assessment of substantive fodder enrichment of Himalayan brown bear’s habitat.” was the third. Audience Choice Award went to Oleksandra Stepanenko (Rivne), Khrystyna Zbesynska (Odessa) and Myroslava Kuznetsova (Kharkiv).