VIDEO: Hungry monkeys left stumped by students’ devices

PUBLISHED: 13:55 11 July 2012 | UPDATED: 14:10 11 July 2012

A Crab Eating Macaque ponders the puzzle

A Crab Eating Macaque ponders the puzzle

Archant

HUNGRY animals were left scratching their heads after youngsters dropped off puzzle feeders they had built at a wildlife park.

The students from Melbourn Village College gave the enrichment devices to staff at Shepreth Wildlife Park on Monday which will provide critters with a challenge to get food.

Year seven students witnessed first hand how useful they are and toured the park, with their teacher saying they got as much out of it as the animals.

Stephen Reynolds, head of design, said: “I thought it went very well. I thought the kids got a lot out of it. They saw how the boxes could be used at the wildlife park.

“It’s important for them to see there is a reason for the projects and to see that what they designed and put together has a practical use.

“I think they enjoyed it immensely. I spoke to them when they got back on the minibus but the highlight for them was handling the snake, which is the way it goes. But they said they really liked seeing the animals using the boxes.”

Twenty-seven boxes were taken to the park and 14 students went on the visit although 70 children worked in groups to produce them.

The collaboration between the college and park has been ongoing for around five years with past pupils creating hedgehog boxes and bird feeders.

Zookeeper Alex Perry was present on the day of the visit and praised the work of the children. She says staff will reuse the enrichment devices as they are “really happy with the designs”.

“The designs were really good and the animals seemed to really enjoy them,” she said.

“The use is to feed and entertain the animals and to give enrichment to the animals, and to provide something different, it’s good for them to have variety.

“It is also good as an educational tool to show children enrichment is a vital part of the zoo keeping business – it is not just feeding and cleaning them.”

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