Animal Diaries Archive
Cheetah food enrichment
24 November 2006
Our cheetahs have a wide range of meats in their diet that includes beef, goat, horse, deer and whole chickens and rabbits. We work their diet on a rotation between the meat and they get fed five days a week. The other two days they have what we call 'fast nights'. Fast nights are when they are not fed a large meat meal, but instead receive a bone without any meat on it. The bone is for enrichment; it gives them something to chew on through the night. Cheetahs in the wild don’t eat everyday and this gives their stomach a good flush out, so we imitate this here at Australia Zoo for our cheetahs.
This week we decided to treat our cheetahs with a new meat type they haven’t had before. Pork! The main reason we don’t feed pork in their diet rotation is that it’s very salty meat. They loved it! We gave each cheetah a 500g piece with a small bone. They were so excited to have pork at midday in their enclosure. What a treat! This sort of enrichment is only given on a rare occasion to make it all the more special, so we now will add pork to the list. The next food enrichment idea we have is lamb; we can’t wait!
Our Amazing Cheetahs
The cheetah has a slender, elongated body supported on tall, thin legs with blunt semi-retractable claws and a flattened rudder-like tail that measures half ...more
On display in Africa