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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 January 2006, 15:10 GMT
Old hoses make fun new zoo toys
Firefighters taking hoses to Paignton Zoo
The recycled hoses are put to many uses
The local fire brigade turned up at a Devon zoo recently with a rather unusual gift for the inhabitants.

The crew from Paignton fire station's Green Watch came to the town's zoo to donate old fire hoses.

The hoses are put to good use by the keepers, who use them to weave things like hammocks for baboons and footballs for elephants.

It is part of the zoo's environmental enrichment programme, for which it has won many awards.

Natural feeding

Paignton Zoo spokesperson Phil Knowling said: "Keepers and scientists are constantly looking for new ideas, trying them out, seeing what works.

"We have to use devices on a three or four-week rota to avoid repetition and to prevent animals becoming familiar with them.

"We recycle a lot of materials to make enrichment items."

Environmental enrichment aims to encourage natural feeding and foraging behaviours, to stimulate interactive activity and to provoke curiosity using new objects and situations.


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