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Friday, January 19, 2018

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Enrichment Treats for the Animals and a New Team Member at IEAS
International Exotic Animal Sanctuary

August, 2015

Please Welcome
Ann Konopik

She is the Assistant Executive Director of IEAS and will be helping the keepers and, most importantly, Richard Gilbreth, Executive Director, with their tasks. 

Ann has over 33 years of exotic animal husbandry experience.  After graduating from Frostburg State University she began her career at Salisbury Zoological Park in Salisbury Maryland as a groundskeeper.  Over the years, Ann worked her way up from an entry keeper position to her final position at Salisbury as the General Curator. 

Ann is a professional fellow member of AZA and in many of the Taxon Advisory Groups and breeding programs.  Her primary focus has been with the Felid and Bear TAGS.  As a steering committee member of Felid Tag and the Ocelot SSP, she is championing the reintroduction of Jaguarundi exhibition in AZA facilities.  Ann is also an instructor for the husbandry course offered every year.  She serves as the secretary for Bear TAG and is the Black bear coordinator which oversees the registry and works to place wild orphan and problem bears, as well as, working with zoos to move Black bear already in their collections.

Ann has jumped right in to help out with the morning routine and is learning the ropes of the everyday operations at IEAS.  We know she will make a great leader and addition the IEAS team!

Here at IEAS, our main goal is to provide these animals with the best quality of life possible in captivity.  That includes offering different types of enrichment to help make their lives better. 

We offer the residents:
Environmental Enrichment
Behavioral Enrichment
Emotional Enrichment

With the change in the weather, we also offer seasonal enrichment.  This summer, we have already done many rounds of fruit blocks for the bears.  Each bear enjoyed digging into their frozen treat!  This seems to be one of the favorite forms of enrichment for the four grizzly bears.  Even Bill came out to enjoy his new treat! 

For the felines, we offer them bloodsicles to enjoy!  Each cat seems to enjoy their frozen treat differently.  Most of them, like Sajani and Nala, would rather relax and lick on their tasty treat.  Nala was a smart girl by pulling her bloodsicle under her perch in the shade to lick on it.  Saber and Odin, however, were a bit more playful with their frozen balls.  They both batted it around like a soccer ball.  Saber even took his into his pool and was splashing around with it.  However, the frozen ball didn’t last long before dissolving in the water, but at least he was able to have some fun with it for a while.  It is always a joy seeing these wonderful animals enjoy something as small as a frozen block of ice/fruit!



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