This week Halley Williams and Kieran Brown from Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies have been helping us overhaul Pets Corner. The two third-year vet students have been improving the lives of our small mammals in pets corner by providing new enrichment and making improvements to their enclosures to encourage natural foraging behaviour. This will help keep them happy, healthy and mentally stimulated as well. See more photos and find out more about the changes on the next page!
The ferrets have enjoyed having new configurations of pipes and buckets added to their enclosure and love playing and exploring. Ferrets are naturally curious and can spend hours playing with exciting new toys, like this treat holder.
The wild ancestors of our domestic guinea pigs and rabbits graze on grass and spend much of their time looking for and nibbling on vegetation. To encourage this natural behaviour, Halley and Kieran have been reducing the amount of processed feed our rabbits and guinea pigs received each day and instead giving animals troughs of vegetation including hay, fresh grass and other greens to encourage them out and about to search for food around their enclosures. They also now have straw in their beds as further enrichment and you may seem them kicking it about.
They really seem to enjoy the fresh greens and even the shiest of our small mammals seems very interested in coming out to enjoy a bit of grass! The new setup means that the animals should be more active and interested in being out and about where they are more visible to the public as well.
You’ll notice our chipmunk has a new forest of branches to play in too and his food and treats are hidden throughout the enclosure.
You can also find out more about all of the animals at Pets Corner from their new signs! And last but not least, a big thank you to Kieran and Halley for being such lovely volunteers! All of the animals certainly appreciate all your help, just look at this very content and happy Bandit!