Posted on 02nd July 2019 by Media Relations
It’s been over six months in the making but Taronga Western Plains Zoo Keeper Christina Nicholas and Horticulturalist Joseph Rowling have now created a sustainable herb garden that will be used to provide enrichment for the animals at the Zoo.
The garden features a variety of plants including spearmint, parsley, lavender, chives, lemon thyme, rosemary, olive trees and strawberries, which will help keepers create scent enrichment for the animals.
Scent enrichment is extremely beneficial for animals, as they would travel around in the wild they would smell different scents. The herb garden will help keepers to create scent enrichment in the animal exhibits.
“Using the herbs from the garden means we don’t need to buy in these items, so we can create scent enrichment in a more sustainable way,” said Keeper Christina Nicholas.
“The herb garden project was made possible through a Taronga Green Grant that allowed us to purchase the irrigation and plants for the garden.”
“The tanks and planter boxes have all been recycled and reused from around the Zoo grounds. Some of the planters were old water troughs which have now been re-purposed for the garden,” said Christina.
“The garden has been real team effort with a number of staff assisting with its creation and we are very thankful for everyone who has been involved over the past six months,” said Horticulturalist, Joseph Rowling.
“It will be three months before keepers will be able to start using the plants for enrichment and we have plans to expand the garden and add more plant species in the future,” said Joseph.
Pet owners can also use scent enrichment for their pets. Creating a small herb garden at home will provide a constant supply of herbs for scent enrichment for a cat or dog.
“Herbs are a simple way pet owners can stimulate the senses of their dog or cat without having to spend a lot of money, just place the herbs in different locations around your yard and let them explore,” said Christina.