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Cetaceans & Pinnipeds
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Designed by ISabella Clegg, Monika Minikin & RHIANNON SCHULTZ

Photo credit: National Geographic/Dolphins Plus/DPMMR

Welcome to the IdeaBox Enrichment Catalogue. Thanks to facilities all around the world sharing their ideas, we've been able to put together a diverse list of environmental enrichment ideas for anyone to use!

We'll be updating this catalogue frequently as new ideas are submitted, so be sure to check back here regularly or sign up to notifications at the bottom of the IdeaBox home page.


The premise of IdeaBox is to catalogue complex and innovative environmental enrichment items, so if you're developing a program keep in mind that there are many 'simple' enrichment ideas not listed here that are also stimulating and effective.

Enrichment is anything that increases the quality or value of the environment to the animals- but how do we know what devices achieve these goals?


Always start by asking: what behaviours do we want to stimulate? For wild animals in captivity, you can use the enrichment wheel below to consider what the animal experiences in the wild in each of the categories, and think about how you can stimulate the same behaviours in captivity. However, you don’t have to just stick to wild behaviours: think outside the box about how to challenge the animals, whilst giving them choice and control over their environment.

Enrichment diversity wheel Animal Welfar

The IdeaBox enrichment items have been categorised below according this wheel. Click on each of the videos to find out how to construct and apply them!


Neither Animal Welfare Expertise nor those submitting the IdeaBox ideas are liable for any type of damages incurred by IdeaBox users as a result of making or using IdeaBox items: all responsibility rests with the user.

Food/foraging enrichment

Cetaceans spend much of their time in the wild hunting and foraging for food. The following IdeaBox enrichment items aim to challenge the animals to obtain fish during their free-time, and give them choice and control about how they do so. 

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Cognitive enrichment

Cetaceans have advanced cognitive abilities, primarily due to their flexible diet and complex social interactions. IdeaBox's cognitive enrichment items provide the animals with challenges that they must use their cognitive abilities to solve. 

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Sensory enrichment

Cetaceans use their senses to forage, play and socialise. They particularly favour their acoustic senses when hunting and communicating, and tactile behaviours when socialising. The following enrichment aims to stimulate the animals' senses through interactive behaviours with the items.

Social enrichment

Cetaceans such as dolphins, orca and belugas live in social groups where cooperation and affiliation is highly adaptive. The social enrichment devices in IdeaBox's catalogue aim to promote affiliative behaviours outside of training sessions. 

Physical habitat ENRICHMENT

In the wild, cetaceans inhabit a range of environments from shallow coastal waters to the open ocean. The following enrichment items act to increase the variety and complexity of the pools and lagoons, particularly using all levels in the water column and natural substrates wherever possible.

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Do you have an enrichment idea that should be on this list? Please contact us and we can work with you to develop and submit your idea!

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