New book available September!
Personal stories and beautiful images of ageing individuals brightening the start of each chapter and remind us that what we do must be in the best interest of the animal and be at the heart of their care.
We are thrilled about our edited volume - all about Optimal Wellbeing of Ageing Wild Animals in Human Care, by Sabrina Brando and Sarah Chapman DVM. A remarkable group of experts, practitioners, and thought-leaders have contributed and we are currently in the process of proofreading.
Many wild animals in human care live longer than their wild counterparts because of modern care and wellbeing programmes, leading to a growing demographic of ageing animals. This handbook is dedicated to their care. As an innovative expert publication, it integrates all aspects of professional care, including topics such as behaviour, ethics, environmental enrichment, training, veterinary care, nutrition and habitat design. Each animal is unique in their...
Collaborations with Zoo de Bordeaux-Pessac in France
The whole team at AnimalConcepts is delighted to continue collaborating with Zoo de Bordeaux-Pessac, in France, in its transition and transformation over the coming years in the space of animal, human, and planetary wellbeing.
"I met Sabrina more than 15 years ago, and at that time I made a promise to myself: one day I will collaborate with her. In February 2022 that we materialized this with a 3-day visit to do an audit of the zoo. Very quickly I decided on starting a long-term collaboration as change takes time and we have a lot to do. Her interest and expertise in animal, human, and planetary wellbeing allow us, beyond the animals that hold a fundamental place in our professions, to address more broadly the wellbeing of our team, community and planet. It is through our new philosophy that we aim to continue and develop our practices in the direction of better living together and respecting the planet we share. I am convinced...
Annual BIAZA Research Conference
Recently BIAZA held its 25th Annual Research Conference, with many talks and poster presentations from professionals from the field. Max Norman, Animal Welfare and Conservation Coordinator at AnimalConcepts attended the in-person event at Dudley Zoo & Castle in the United Kingdom.
"With a topic of Peering into the past and looking to the future it was excellent to hear much reflection on best practice and how we can do better for animals and for people for the future", says Max Norman.
The team at AnimalConcepts presented a poster on traditional management practices and facility design with suggested improvements in non-public animal management areas, often called “back-of-house”, in zoos, sanctuaries, and research facilities. Such improvements are integral to enclosure design that aims to optimise animal wellbeing on a 24/7 basis, promote positive affective states and...
The Akron Zoo Chapter of AAZK invites you to the 48th Annual AAZK National Conference which is taking place from 17-21 September 2023 in Akron, Ohio, USA. The conference also includes a trip to the Akron Zoo, where you'll come nose-to-nose with more than 1,000 animals from around the world, such as tigers, snow leopards, red pandas, penguins, Komodo dragons and so many more!
"The Akron Zoo Chapter of AAZK is thrilled to have Sabrina Brando join the AAZK National Conference in September of this year. The theme of this conference is focused toward 'the heart' of animal care, which lines up perfectly with AnimalConcept's purpose. With Sabrina's work in human well-being and geriatric animal care, her experiences will be an invaluable contribution to the program." says Kristen Scaglione, Conference Co-Chair.
There are also other trips possible to explore for example Cleveland Metroparks Zoo or go on safari in The Wilds. The program is fully booked with papers and posters, as well as fun...
A new paper is freely available, a collaboration between SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Universidade federal de Minas Gerais, and AnimalConcepts. The article is available open access and you can download it below.
While the existence of human–animal relationships dates back thousands of years, the effects of these bonds on animal well-being have only recently been examined in detail. The existing literature demonstrates that factors such as familiar human caregivers and persistent, predictable care may, for example, lower an animal’s fear response and improve overall welfare. The goal of the present study was to analyse how a range of variables, including age, sex, animal species, and previous bonds with a pet could influence the development of human–animal bonds between caregivers and animals at six affiliated zoological facilities. The present study is a survey of 201 animal caregivers focusing on their perception of the bonds shared between...
"Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect." - Chief Seattle
Monday 5th June we celebrated World Environment Day, an event intended to raise global awareness and take action on pressing environmental issues. It is organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and serves as a platform for promoting positive environmental action worldwide. This year the theme will focus on solutions to plastic pollution under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution.
Every year, more than 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced, with half of it intended for single-use purposes. Of that, less than 10 per cent is recycled. Around 19-23 million tonnes end up in lakes, rivers and oceans, exacerbating the problem. Currently, plastic pollution is evident in overflowing landfills, ocean contamination, and the release of...
The joys and sorrows in animal care professions
Mental Health Awareness Week took place last week. The official theme for this year, as set by the Mental Health Foundation, was ‘anxiety'. It is key to highlight the importance of mental health and the challenges many people face as well as the joys of this work, possible resources and solutions. It promotes open dialogues regarding mental health, offers knowledge about accessible resources and support networks, and advocates for self-care and we-care practices that enhance wellbeing, which are part of care, respect, and real love in the workplace.
The nature of the job
Various factors can trigger feelings of anxiety, such as the stress of exams, relationships, the beginning or loss of a job, and other life events. Experiencing anxiety while working at zoos, aquaria, sanctuaries or other animal institutions can be a challenge for some individuals. Working with animals involves the pressure to ensure the wellbeing of the animals,...
The importance of nutrition podcast
Adequate nutrition is essential for promoting optimal animal welfare, as it helps ensure that animals have the energy, nutrients, and vitamins they need to maintain good health and wellbeing. Inadequate or imbalanced diets can lead to a range of health problems, including malnutrition, obesity, and metabolic disorders, which can cause pain and discomfort.
Following a 24/7 approach to animal welfare, animals should have access to a species-specific and appropriate diet, therefore zoo staff should review the typical diets under human care, nutritional composition of wild diets, food presentation, availability and sourcing of food. In addition to providing appropriate nutrition, the diets of animals should also take into consideration their natural feeding behaviours and preferences. For example, frugivorous animals mostly rely on fruit or fruit-like produce from plants, while carnivorous animals should be provided with a diet that is high in protein...
This month on the animal wellbeing platform is all about nutrition, and we talk about food relations on the planetary wellbeing platform. How are these two topics interconnected?
Nutrition is an essential aspect to sustain healthy and active animals. A suitable diet should meet energetic requirements, prevent nutritional disorders and diseases, be safe and hygienic, and encourage natural and engaging behaviours. Nutritional needs differ between species and vary across lifespans. Animal care staff works towards ensuring adequate diet and feeding regimes are provided to the animals.
On the other hand, our global food systems are closely intertwined with planetary health, including the quality of soil, water, and global emissions. Contemporary zoos, aquaria, and other animal care facilities play an important role in the dynamics of global food systems, and are recognising their responsibility to reduce their...
AnimalConcepts welcomes May with new exciting topics in all platforms!
This month on the animal wellbeing platform is all about nutrition. Nutrition is crucial in captive animal facilities, such as zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries, as it directly impacts the health, behaviour, and welfare of the animals. We will explore nutritional needs of different species and how this impacts their wellbeing, we will also investigate feeding enrichment, as well as a holistic and sustainable approach to animal nutrition in captive environments. You can download HERE a list of freely available resources created in 2022 on this topic.
Our focus for May in the space of human wellbeing is “Real love in the workplace”. Every human being has a primal need for love, but most of us fail to realise that this need continues into the workplace. Learn more this month about the eight principles for consistently effective leadership grounded in kindness and care....