Environmental enrichment as the sprinkles on top

What do we mean by environmental enrichment? As with anything, it is always good and helpful to understand where things came from. Environmental enrichment was born from something that the words reflect: enriching the environment.

Not long ago, and even today, animals in all kinds of systems can find themselves in environments that are not enriching, which are lacking in stimuli, in opportunities, complexity, and therefore a lack of choices and control and ability to exercise one's agency.
Some of these areas are still very much lacking, think for example of the back of house areas animals can spend many hours in. Whether in zoos, aquariums, research laboratories, with farm animals, or animals in shelters and at home, we came to the realisation that we need to enrich the environment by adding structures (flexible, fixed, soft, hard, etc.), vegetations, substrates, considering their social needs, hiding places, places as viewpoints, shade, or spaces large enough to rest, play or...

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