|Ring-tailed lemurs using smart feeder. Photo from Oakland Zoo.|
I recently met Dr. Karin Jaffe at the American Society of Primatologists (ASP) 2015 in Bend, Oregon. We talked about our work in lemurs and enrichment. She had mentioned about an enrichment prototype that her and her husband invented. You see, the ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Oakland Zoo lives in a large enclosure. However, these lemurs like to hang out in places that are usually out of sight from visitors. The lemurs need the large space but I bet zoo visitors also want to see these lemurs.
Dr. Jaffe came up with an ingenious idea --- build a smart feeder that dispenses food (in random intervals) in view of zoo visitors. The lemurs would want to hang out near the feeder and wait for food while zoo visitors get to see these lemurs. Brilliant, right?
Which brings me to the reason why I am writing this post. I'm so happy to see her project had taken off but she needs help building a few more of these enrichments for Oakland Zoo. Dr. Jaffe and her team had launched an Experiment.com page for people to help back her smart feeder project: Using smart feeders to increase lemur activity and stimulate human interest.
This project is now 100% funded. Congrats lemurs!
|Ring-tailed lemur using smart feeder. Photo by Dr. Karin Jaffe|