Enrichment for Penguins at ZooJam 2016 from Fiona French on Vimeo.

Penguin Brainstorm

  1. School of fish, group = extended feeding
  2. Algae – cloth, ribbon, snakelike.  Bite when moving fast to peck bits off (long lasting) robots!
  3. Multiple ipads, different locations – move from station to station.
    2D signal to 3D location = map reading!  peck cues game, then penguins dive
  4. Dig burrows – sandpit zones to enter
  5. Fish dispenser inside a Perspex column of bubbles and lights
  6. Remote controlled hovercraft – on and off land, perhaps for kids to control?  (likely to chase penguins!)
  7. Lazy river, lots of currents
  8. Exploding balls – put them all back and they shoot out again to play with
  9. Pebbles to swallow – also a useful substrate
  10. Wobble board
  11. Light chase system , auto or public control
  12. Magnet chase along wall, “fish” controlled by public
    Naturalistic environment, functional importance not “looks like”
  13. Gathering, piling up things
  14. Coloured ball to chase
  15. Projections from ceiling onto water – light effects
  16. Disco balls
  17. Sensors and lights = triggers for food
  18. Substrate – importance of

Discussion point - enrichment v. habitat design

Enrichment is not an add-on
Play? Is this problem behaviour?  Rewarding in itself.
Complexity offers more choices.
Can captivity come close to wild environment? 
We can’t do much.  Everything is novel. 
Adaptation – identify relevant adaptations = behavioural and cognitive needs

Penguin Brief

PENGUINS (Michelle Westerlaken)

Design a playful object for the Magellanic Penguins in the Aquarium of the Pacific (Long Beach, California). The 21 Magellanic penguins of this non-profit aquarium are either rescued or were born in captivity (including transfers from other zoos) and they cannot be returned to the wild. In captivity they can live up to 25/30 years (as opposed to 15 in the wild) and they are especially playful in their first years.

Aviculturist Sara Mandel got an iPad game for her cats, and decided to try it out on the penguins too. To her surprise they found it interesting and different penguins from the group started to interact with the game. For some of the penguins, interacting with the iPad became part of their daily enrichment routine. By taking part in the interaction as human being as well, Sara Mandel found new ways to check upon the penguin’s physical and mental well-being while they interacted with the game.  The development of playful interactions that are not purely screen based, but include physical and tangible elements, would fit better with the way in which these penguins usually display playful interactions.

The aquarium is interested in any kind of playful artefacts that could somehow connect the penguins with the visitors on the other side of the glass wall and teach people more about the penguin species and their endangered status.

In the summer of 2017, Michelle will return to the aquarium and carry out a two-month design process aimed at generating new insights into designing playful artefacts for other species in the context of a zoo. With your permissions, credits, and acknowledgements, she would like to include your reflections and prototypes as a starting point and inspiration for this project.

penguins peck ipad