Because Hugh and Buffett do not live in a natural marine environment, several environmental enrichment devices (EED's) have been developed to keep them mentally stimulated.
Making EED's for manatees is very challenging because of the manatee's strength and size. While manatees are generally slow-moving, gentle animals, they are also very strong. The manatee's flexible pectoral flippers and lips are used to manipulate objects, making the development of enrichment devices challenging.
Environmental enrichment devices for these animals must be designed with the following criteria in mind:
If you have an idea for an enrichment device, please submit this form. (Don't forget to come back here when you're done by closing the "Submit Your Idea" window. This window will still be here). Please understand that all enrichment ideas must be approved by the Manatee Care Coordinator, and that some ideas may be unsuitable for the animals and/or their exhibit. If your idea is accepted, you will receive a photograph of the manatees with your enrichment device. This photo, with credit given to YOU, will be displayed in the Environmental Enrichment Device Photo Gallery located on this website.