"Furniture" in Zoo Enclosures

Oct 16, 2020

I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. During our filming with horticulturist Melody Scott Leach at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, we learned about what animal exhibit specialists call furniture. This means plants or other items placed inside the animal enclosure.  For example, the rhinoceroses need shade but these massive animals could easily destroy trees by rubbing against them. Scott-Leach has planted trees but placed large boulders around them to keep these animals from scratching their backs on the tree trunks. But don’t think that they have to suffer an itching spot –there is a suspended brush that automatically comes on and spins its bristles against their tough hide. We watched a very content animal enjoy this feature during our filming. At the walk-through kangaroo exhibit, strategically placed fans cooled these animals on a hot September day, the exhibit keepers and the MIG team enjoyed them, too.