DENVER — It takes a lot more than just food and water to keep animals happy in a zoo.
After all, it’s not their natural environment.
“It is definitely a challenge to stimulate our animals at the Denver Zoo,” said Heather Genter, the zoo’s assistant curator of behavioral husbandry.
At the Denver Zoo, a full-time position is needed to make sure the animals are happy. That’s done by stimulating the senses.
“Olfactory stimulation, visual stimulation, taste stimulation and tactile stimulation,” Genter said.
For sight, it could be a mirror. For sound, it could be a recording of other animals or even music. But for the most powerful sense, smell, it has to be perfume.
No, it’s not what you think, perfume can stimulate other senses, too.
“We had some lions that really liked Obsession for Men. That was one of their favorites,” Genter said.
Aroma therapy works so well at the Denver Zoo that there is a shortage of foo foo juice.
“Because of the high price of perfumes and colognes, we are always asking people to help donate some of those old perfumes and colognes they may not like anymore,” Genter said.
Gio for giraffes, Gucci for the gorillas. Maybe even Polo for the parrots.
And yes, whatever works for humans can work for furry friends, too.