Get a “kick” out of giraffe soccer

TUCSON, Arizona We all love watching the natural behaviors of animals. At Reid Park Zoo, the animal care staff really gets a kick out of taking care of the animals by using different enrichment!

Zoo keepers use an enrichment flow design to stimulate species appropriate behaviors by designing enrichment that will encourage the animal to display that specific behavior. Our keepers and the enrichment team observe the behavioral repertoire of the animal and carefully choose which behavior(s) to focus on increasing.

Giraffes spend most of their day on their feet and spend about 22 hours a day eating. Kicking helps the giraffes stretch.

“Providing enrichment offers our animals opportunities to display a wide array of natural behaviors,” said zoo keeper Jackie O’Donnell. “This enrichment, while not naturally found in their environment, stimulate those same behaviors and is a blast to watch!”


At times it can be difficult to tell which half of the partnership is having more fun creating and using enrichment – the keepers or the animals. Either way our zoo visitors win and see some awesome animal behavior at the zoo!