The meals Cuffy prepares aren’t just good for animals’ bodies. Interesting food presented in unusual ways keeps their minds healthy too.
For instance, Cuffy might give a leopard a grapefruit, which is not part of the carnivore’s regular diet. “She may just bat it around,” says Cuffy. “But if she bites into it, she’ll find that it’s sour. And that will be interesting for her.”
To keep animals stimulated, zoo staff often hide food in different parts of the animals’ pens. That way the animals have to forage, or search for food—just like they do in the wild.