Staff visit to Hanoi Zoo – An update from Colin Northcott

As part of Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation’s ongoing commitment to supporting wildlife conservation worldwide, our very own Colin Northcott recently revisited Hanoi Zoo in Vietnam.

Visiting from November 14th to the 21st, Colin made the trip east to check on the improvements made to the animal enclosures on site.

Binturong Enclosure

The improvements made to the Binturong Enclosure particularly stood out. At the zoo, Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation funds have been used to construct multi-level platforms with interconnecting walkways and some with dynamic logs for multiple welfare benefits. The enclosure improvements promote muscle usage, dexterity and increased fitness.

Sun Bear Enclosure

A work in progress during Colin’s last visit, the Sun Bear Enclosure is now complete. Looking great, this multi-levelled, multi-access enclosure allows for great climbing challenges and different textures with superb visual barriers for the viewing public. Serving as further evidence that the staff at Hanoi Zoo are willing to make minor changes to improve the animals lives, there is certainty that Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation funds are being spent wisely.

Elephants

At present, the zoo’s elephants are being rotated so that all three of them are receiving time in all areas of their enclosure. There were more enrichment items present such as tyres on chains in hanging rows with food inside them and overall, their new vitality was reassuring.

Planting

The zoo’s environment could be enhanced by increased planting however. Speaking about the introduction of large plant pots both inside and outside of the enclosures, Hanoi Zoo staff agreed with Colin that this could happen with the project both simple and inexpensive to deploy in creating invaluable benefits to both the animals and visitors.

Keeping records

Reassuringly, Hanoi Zoo is currently keeping animal records in a comprehensive daily diary which is then transferred to both daily and monthly reports.

Computer recorded so the zoo’s directors can be informed via a separate report, the presence of separate species reports, separate veterinary records and separate feeding regimes is encouraging. There are also plans to introduce an environmental enrichment recording system at some point too.

Animal training

Additionally, a formal animal training plan created by Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation has been submitted.

Soon to be translated and put into practice, this guide has been specifically designed a blind hippo at the zoo in mind. Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation looks forward to beginning this vital training.

What next?

At the end of Colin’s visit, there was a prize giving ceremony to recognise all of the hard work that the keepers have put in over the past few months.

With the team responsible for the Binturong enclosure winning a prize for the best improvement towards animal welfare, this yet again showcases the fact that Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation doesn’t let key work go unnoticed.

From here on, the team at Hanoi Zoo are keen on improving the other enclosures at the zoo but importance must be placed on improving each one at a single time so the work isn’t rushed.

Help YWP Foundation

Do your bit to help Yorkshire Wildlife Park look after endangered animals from around the globe by donating today.

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