i decided to do a blog to showcase the zoo animal enrichment's my friend lee and i have been making, in a condensed format. expanded photos and some video clips of the fun are accessible via the links to the left. ... starting with this welcome message, the following posts will chronicle the progress we've made and the fun enrichment such toy items have brought to the animals we've been able to make them for. ... it started with our passion to celebrate the zoo animals residents by recognizing their birthdays. there are some wild born residents who came to the zoo under various circumstances, some are young like the grizzly sisters, some are seniors like the quartet of chimps. these residents birthdays are estimated, but all have listed birthdays. regardless of whether the birthday is estimated or documented, we want the birthdays recognized. while doing my first blog on the zoo residents, i coincidentally was making a post on cobby the male chimpanzee, whose birthday was listed as that week. lee and i decided we wanted to make him a card. ... in november, female sumatran tiger padang would be turning a milestone 20 years old! as frequent lion house visitors, we had become friendly with the big cat keeper and talked to her about padangs birthday as lee wanted to buy some new blankets for padang. as a senior cat with some arthritis, her physical comfort is a top priority and she loves her blankets, pillows and stuffed animals! after padang's birthday, three of the lions had birthdays early in the new year and the keeper was as enthusiastic as we were to have a celebration. super birthday sunday was the start of something very special to us. i hope you enjoy and feel the joy as you follow the fun! ... note that all the enrichment items are made from non toxic materials, paste made only from unbleached flour and water, new unused paper materials (grocery bags, bought bags, newspaper, bought paper), new or once used boxes (no tape or staples) and non toxic washable tempra paints (crayola brand is our preferred). all keeper and vet approved! ... pictured: andy is a happy happy girl , fully enjoying her colorful valentine enrichment. this enrichment was part of a zoo event, not an enrichment we were involved with, but this one of my favorite photos of a special zoo friend who i wanted to include in this blog. ... we miss you andy bear.