WACO, Texas — The Cameron Park Zoo is inviting the public to join them Tuesday to observe a new tool being introduced to its orangutan habitat.
The zoo is going to be introducing the primates to an animal vending machine. How it works is by simulating activities orangutans do in the wild to keep them mentally engaged.
According to the zoo, they plan to place tokens all throughout their habitat for the orangutans to find. When they do, they will then go up to the vending machine to exchange it for food prizes.
"When the orangutans search for tokens, they perform natural behaviors like climbing, swinging, searching, problem solving, and tool use," the zoo said.
Visitors can speak to zoologists about the vending machine from noon to 4 p.m.
It was created by Wild Think and is funded by the Cameron Park Zoological & Botanical Society. The society normally funds the zoo's enrichment programs aimed to enhance the life of all species that reside at the Cameron Park Zoo.
"Enrichment is the process of providing stimulating environments for Zoo animals in order for them to demonstrate their species-typical behavior, to allow them exercise control or choice over their environment, and to enhance their well-being. It often includes the introduction of objects, sounds, smells or other stimuli in the animal’s habitat. Environmental enrichment is just as critical to Zoo animal welfare as nutrition and veterinary care. The Zoological Society has an Enrichment fund that allows tax deductible donations to be used solely to benefit of the Zoo’s animals," the news release said.
Orangutans are known to be some of the smartest land animals in the world, according to orangutan.org.