On Animal Enrichment Day, guests see firsthand how Grandfather Mountain cares for its resident animals. An enrichment is a special treat, new toy or even an unfamiliar scent given to the animals to break up their routines and help keep them active and intellectually stimulated. Watch enrichment demonstrations, talk directly with keepers and participate in family-oriented games and crafts. Included with admission. Activities kick off at 11 a.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m at the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery and adjacent Wildlife Habitats.
Animal Enrichment Day Schedule:
- 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Behind-the-Scenes Tour (additional cost, book in advance at the Wilson Center gift shop)
- 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Animal Olympics Game (Pollinator Garden, behind the Wilson Center)
- 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Test Your Animal Knowledge Contest – contest drawing at 2:15 (Wilson Center Classroom)
- 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.: Fun animal-themed games! (Outside the Wilson Center, inside if raining)
- 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Creepy Critter Corner – Meet a few of our creepier animals. (Wilson Center Classroom)
- 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.: Enrichment Table – learn all about enrichment. (Wilson Center Classroom)
- 1:00 – 1:30 p.m.: Animal Encounter – Meet a few of our resident animals including snakes and an opossum. (Wilson Center Classroom)
- 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.: Vote for the enrichments that you think the animals would most like to get during the Enrichment Parade. (Wilson Center Classroom)
- 1:30 – 2:00 p.m.: Enrichment Making – Help the keepers make some enrichment for the animals. (Wilson Center Breezeway)
- 2:15 p.m.: Contest Drawing! Winners will be announced at the Wilson Center Classroom. Contest winners get the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes to visit the animal you were knowledgeable about! Winners are allowed to take family members with them. Participants must be present to win.
- 2:45 p.m.: Animal Enrichment Parade! Follow our staff to the elk, then otter, then cougar and then bear overlooks to watch the special enrichments!
Can’t come to the event but still want to provide a special treat for Grandfather animals? Those interested in gifting them some of their favorite items can do so by checking out the mountain’s animal enrichment wish list featuring appropriate toys and supplies. Donors can purchase an item online and have it delivered straight to Grandfather Mountain for immediate enjoyment.
Animal lovers can also contribute through the mountain’s Adopt-an-Animal Program. Honorary adopters receive a photo of their animal, certificate of adoption, informational sheet about the animal’s life and more!