The Minnesota Zoo strives to maintain the highest standards of animal welfare and well-being in order to assure that the biological, behavioral, and social needs of each individual animal are met. This is achieved, in part, through applying behavior management principles to animal enrichment practices and training.
Behavioral husbandry aims to draw out animals' natural behaviors and abilities with stimulating environments that provide the animals with behavioral choices which encourage them to explore and interact with their surroundings. Behavioral husbandry concepts begin with exhibit planning and continue to day-to-day care provided by zoo keepers. Behavioral Husbandry Interns are assigned to work with one species from the Zoo's collection. They conduct behavioral observations, record and enter data, work on enrichment initiatives for this animal, and may contribute to developing other enrichment opportunities for different animals. Interns interact with guests by providing interpretive information throughout the Zoo.
All interns complete an individual project developed in consultation with Zoo staff.