Donovan the Lion celebrated his birthday, so the Utica Zoo decided to throw him a very special birthday party.

Happy Birthday Donovan! He turned 5-years-old yesterday (May 11th), and the zoo made his day by giving him a special "enrichment" treatment. What exactly is enrichment?

Well, that's when the bring in new objects into the lion's den - whether it's new smells (by spraying boxes with different scents), letting them have various treats (like the cantaloupes in the video - at the top of this page), or some other sort of change to their environment, and then they let the lions seek out and enjoy the objects or changes.

They do this to keep the lions' brains active and growing. The new objects, smells, and foods keep them on their toes, and helps them stay wild animals. You can learn more about "enrichment" here.

The Utica Zoo also offered special "keeper talks" by the lion's exhibit throughout the day, in honor of Donovan's birthday.

Photo Credit: Utica Zoo

Happy Birthday Donovan! We hope you enjoyed your day.

And if you haven't been to the Utica Zoo in a while, this is the perfect excuse to go. You can wish Donovan a belated birthday (let's call it his birthday month or something). It's only $8 to get in (discounts for seniors, military, students, and children), and they're open everyday from 10am - 4:45pm. You can check out their website to get more details, see the animals you can visit, and learn about specials and events - Just click here.

 

 


MORE: Up-Close with the Lions at the Utica Zoo