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St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations at the Zoo

St. Patrick’s Day has become a full weekend of fun and activities. After all, they say everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

There are parades, pub crawls, parties, and a variety of green-themed events to choose from. Many zoos, animal parks, and other animal care facilities have joined in the holiday and created their own festivities.

The Elmwood Park Zoo throws a weekend St. Patrick’s Day event with personalized animal greets and live Celtic music and dancing. There is something for everyone from adults to children.

At the Smithsonian National Zoo everyone gets into the holiday spirit: animal care staff and aides gift enrichment items to the animals. Visitors really connect with the animals through enrichment feeders like the Bingo Ball Feeder. Everyone enjoys seeing primates like tamarins, capuchins, marmosets, macaques, and langurs figure out how to solve a puzzle and get a treat.

Monkey with Bingo Feeder
Bingo Feeder

The San Francisco Zoo keeps it simple. Wear anything with a shamrock on St. Patrick’s Day weekend and get $1 off admission. Visitors can enjoy a green beer all weekend long as they stroll the park grounds.

How could we not check in with the Dublin Zoo and see what they have planned for St. Patrick’s Day?

Keeping with the “green theme”, reptiles will take center stage. Keeper talks will run throughout the day in the Zoorassic World. Many reptiles spend their day basking. Visitors like to see activity and feeding time is a great interaction experience. Our Exotic Nutrition canned insects make it easy to provide a variety of nutritious insects to your reptiles.

The Maryland Zoo turns St. Patrick’s Day into an enrichment event. Animal keepers give their animals enrichment items and treats. During the events, staff explain the importance of customized environmental enrichment in the lives of the zoo’s lions, otters, bobcats, polar bears, farm animals, and chimps.

Even animal shelters are creating fun St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Fredericksburg Virginia SPCA promises” puppy kisses, puppy breath, and puppy cuddles” for those attending the St. Patrick’s Day Puppy Yoga event. This is the perfect time to have visitors interact with the rescue animals. Use enrichment toys to help the animals and potential adoptees connect. Dogs love the Kong chewable toys. Cats are especially fond of stalking, pouncing, and chewing on feline enrichment toys. Don’t forget small animals like mice, rats, guinea pigs, ferrets, and birds. They all need engaging environmental enrichment for physical and cognitive stimulation.

Buffet Ball & Kabob


Treat activities are popular with zoo visitors and create a connection between animals and humans.

Whether your animal facility simply offers a St. Patrick’s Day discount, like the Palm Beach Zoo, or goes all out with food, beer, and dancing, the “green holiday” is the perfect time to bring the visitors closer to your important work with the animals. The Philadelphia Zoo has a new exhibit where visitors feed the giraffes. You don’t have to make a complicated program to use treats in your exhibits and demonstrations. Foraging and treat-based enrichment products give you complete control over the diet, provide the animals with fun stimulation, and give visitors and supporters an engaging experience that brings them back again and again. Why not try it this St. Patrick’s Day?

lemur with kong bamboo ball
KONG Bamboo Feeder



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Spring is Forage Time!

Spring is forage time

Spring is Forage Time!

With Spring just around the corner, many animals (and zoo facilities)  will emerge from their winter hibernation. Your zoo or animal park, like the Maryland Zoo, will be returning to regular visitor hours. Most facilities make this a yearly celebration. Lincoln Park Zoo will be hosting the Coming Out of Hibernation event. The Philadelphia Zoo is hosting its annual Zoo-A-Thon fundraiser for enrichment products. Speaking of enrichment products, animals rising from winter rest will want to explore their environment and forage for food. Otto Environmental offers a wide variety of enrichment products designed to provide cognitive, visual, olfactory, and taste stimulation for just about any animal.

Small animals need to forage

Rats, mice, and gerbils have a strong foraging instinct. The IAABC Foundation notes that providing enrichment for small animals sometimes gets overlooked by shelters, zoos, and laboratories. Small animal enrichment can be easy with the right products. The hanging Exotic Nutrition Forage Tower is a hanging interactive forage device that holds food and provides an interesting challenge to small animals including rabbits and ferrets.

Ann Gutowski, the keeper at Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s Small Mammal House, notes “To provide the best enrichment for each animal, we need to understand what each animal engages with most or how to encourage a particular behavior best.” The Bead Forager is a stainless-steel channel with beaded chains, nuts, and washers. These provide tactile and audible enrichment as animals like ferrets, mice, rats, gerbils, jerboas, and other foragers search for treats inside the channel.

mouse with forage tower
Forage Tower
bead forager
Bead Forager

Birds and forage enrichment

bird with acrylic forage wheel
Acrylic Forage Wheel

The Association of Avian Veterinarians notes that birds, like lorikeets, spend up to 70% of the day foraging for food. It makes sense to provide your parrots, cockatoos, cockatiels, macaws, and other foraging birds with a feeding challenge. The Acrylic Forage Wheel is the ideal avian enrichment device. The clear housing allows the birds to see the treats as they manipulate the colorful paddlewheel, to dispense a treat. The Hornbil Forager provides a different experience. Hornbills, woodpeckers, sapsuckers, nuthatches, and large parrots like African grays forage much of their day in the wild, but very little in captivity due to lack of enrichment. To stimulate your birds, load the firehose pleats with peanut butter, waxworms, and seeds and watch your birds engage in much-needed foraging activity.

Hornbill Forager

Primate foraging

It is no secret that non-human primates (NHP) have complex enrichment needs. Monkeys and apes, including tamarins, capuchins, marmosets, macaques, langurs, orangutans, gibbons, and chimpanzees have a strong desire to touch, smell, and taste objects in their environment. Without adequate enrichment, NHPs become depressed and stressed. Enrichment is also a key component of IACUC standards for laboratories and research projects. The Texas Biomedical Research Institute uses food-based enrichment along with tactile and audible sensory stimulation in its primate research. The Acrylic Tray Forager has an AstroTurf mat that can be smeared with peanut butter, jelly, and other treats. NHPs explore the rough surface and find a sticky treat reward. It is important to provide primates with several types of enrichment challenges. The Otto Bullet Feeder is designed to present a fruit and vegetable forage challenge to smaller primates. Just load the Bullet and hang it where primates can reach the dispensing holes.

Acrylic Tray Forager (PES)
Otto Bullet Feeder

All animals forage

No matter what type of animals you are caring for, they all like to forage in their own way. As the season warms and days lengthen, give your animals the fun and stimulation they need through forage-based enrichment products and activities.

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Spring Planning

Planning ahead saves time and resources

Spring is on the way! It won’t be long before everyone is thinking about outdoor fun and adventure. This will include visits to zoos, animal parks, and petting farms. No matter what type of animal care facility you manage now is the time to plan for outdoor activities and enrichment. Why do it now? There are several important reasons.

Quiet before the storm

We have all heard that expression. For animal facilities, the “storm” can mean a list of overdue repairs and upgrades. As the weather improves, facility managers often discover many maintenance tasks that need to be done ASAP. Painting, cleaning, groundskeeping, and other infrastructure work will demand attention. The Pine Grove Zoo invites the public to help with spring clean-up projects.  Even having extra volunteers can result in tight schedules as staff must manage the workers. By planning now you’ll be able to budget time and resources better. For example, you want to replace that worn-out enrichment ladder with something fresh, like the Collapsible Ladder with PEX rungs and stainless-steel chain. Planning the replacement now allows you to put the project on your work timeline and guarantees the enrichment projects are not last on the list.

collapsible ladder
Collapsible Ladder

Appearances matter

Visitors and patrons often judge a facility by what they see. Old and damaged enrichment products make it appear like the animals are not being cared for. Reid Park Zoo considers freshening up its animal enclosures with enrichment products, an integral part of excellence and innovation in animal care.  Even pet owners replace dog, cat, and bird toys when they look old, even if the toy is still serviceable. For example, ball enrichment products are something everyone can relate to. Everyone loves to watch canines, primates, large cats, bears, otters, and other animals play with balls. Discard old, dingy balls with bright, “friendly” new products.

Hornbill Forager

Animals need variety

All animals need variety to stimulate cognitive and physical activity. Matching the correct size enrichment product to the animal is important for success. The Fire Hose Squeak-N-Fetch is a rugged but chewable toy for dogs and is available in a variety of sizes. Perfect for supervised play with shelter staff and adopter interaction sessions. Fire hose is often associated with cargo nets and hammocks. But we created a forager product just for birds like eagles, falcons, vultures, cranes, storks, hawks, and parrots that have a need to forage. The New England Zoo has an enrichment committee that meets monthly to evaluate environmental enrichment and plan on updates to ensure the animals always have the best enrichment, whether it be tigers, camels, and birds like the heritage chicken. Don’t forget your smaller animals. Our Silent Runner provides plenty of exercise and entertainment for animals and onlookers alike.

Fire Hose Squeak-N-Fetch
Cargo Net Hammock
Cargo Net Hammock

Save time and resources

It does not take much time to review your facility’s enrichment products. The keepers will know what should be replaced. Instead of waiting until things get busy with visitors, make your want list early and submit it to ensure the products are at your facility before they are needed. This is a real-time-saver and makes your operation run smoother.

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Enclosures for Orangutans

orangutan in enclosure

Orangutans and other large primates have unique enclosure and caging needs.

In the wild orangutans are arboreal, moving about the tree canopy. Their long arms and hand-like feet make them strong climbers, an activity they need in captivity. Orangutans are somewhat solitary, yet they are inquisitive and very interested in their surroundings. This provides several clues as to what orangutans prefer in their enclosure. One tip to keep in mind with all primates is that their enclosure is their home, not a “workspace.” It is critical to provide the enrichment they need to thrive.

Orangutan enclosures must provide opportunities to climb and live on the floor space.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums notes that when orangutans cannot climb, lethargy sets in along with health issues. The primates often begin playing with feces if the living space does not provide proper environmental enrichment. We designed our Closed Weave Hammock to make it easy to create elevated lounging areas for orangutans and other large primates like baboons, gibbons, mandrills, chimpanzees, and gorillas. The ability of the hammock to swing is considered the ideal type of elevated environment for climbing primates.

closed weave animal hammock on white background
Closed Weave Hammock

Rosemary Markham of Perth Zoo documents the benefits of manipulable enrichment products in their long-term care and successful breeding program.

Treat feeders, like the Spin A Snack are particularly interesting to orangutans and other primates. The rotating dispenser acts as a puzzle with a treat reward. Primates also enjoy being able to push, throw and carry objects. The Kong Wobbler satisfies this desire and can take rough play. Smithsonian’s National Zoo Primates Curator Meredith Bastian, in her studies of nesting orangutans, found that enrichment devices are often carried into the nest. They are probably comforting to the primates.

Spin-A-Snack OES

Angela Hatke, from the Cincinnati Zoo, stresses that orangutans are problem solvers and benefit from challenging enrichment devices. The Phoenix Zoo emphasizes cognitive enrichment as an important component of orangutan care. Otto Environmental’s Honeycomb can be loaded with yam, corn, oranges, bananas, berries, and pears. Primates can carry and manipulate the Honeycomb for a treat.

the honeycomb
The Honeycomb

Orangutan Foundation International has recommended hanging tire swings for orangutan enrichment.

The swing provides exercise, a perch to observe visitors and other primates, and a place to interact with another orangutan when desired. The Tirezan Primate Swing is a popular enrichment device for baboons, gibbons, mandrills, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. All you need to do is hang it. No DIY drilling, cutting, and fabricating!

tirezan swing
Tirezan Primate Swing

Keep in mind each orangutan has his/her own preference for enrichment activities.

Emily Bricker, primate keeper at the National Zoo, works with a variety of primates, including siamangs, lemurs, gorillas, and orangutans. “To work with orangutans, it helps to have a lot of patience and the ability to think five steps ahead. Orangutans are wild animals and aren’t always gentle. Because orangutans are so smart, strong, and curious, keepers have to be very thoughtful about the types of enrichment we give them.” Otto Environmental has developed a wide range of enrichment products that are sure to keep your primates engaged and happy.

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The Importance of Reliable Caging at Animal Care Facilities

Having well-made cages, pens, and enclosures makes caring for your animals easier, saves money, and keeps staff and animals safe. These four factors are to consider when planning on a new enclosure or modifying an existing containment area.

  • Animal welfare – The enclosure must be tailored to the health and safety of the type of animals it will hold.
  • Staff safety – The risk of accidental harm to the handlers must be minimized.
  • Ease of cleaning – Hygiene is of utmost importance.
  • Safety to visitors – Enclosures must minimize risk to the public.

Good enclosure design balances all four factors. Many animal facilities have windows so the public can see behind the scenes. The Denver Zoo added large viewing windows into their state-of-the-art veterinary care facility. Visitors can watch the animals being cared for. It is especially important to use enclosures that are clean, safe, and designed to comfortably house the animal. Rusty, dirty cages are bad for the animals and staff and give the impression the animals are kept in poor conditions. The same goes for private veterinary practices and animal shelters caring for dogs, cats, pigs, and even wild animals. In fact, The British Columbia SPCA has a program to house and rehabilitates wounded wild animals such as birds, rabbits, deer, and other wildlife.

Otto Environmental manufactures a full range of animal enclosure products for zoos, veterinary hospitals, universities, shelters, petting farms, and research facilities. We will work with you to design the optimal enclosure for your particular facility.

Our customizable horse stalls are functional and attractive. They are popular with public, private, and governmental equine facilities around the world.

Customizable Horse Stalls

Working with big cats like tigers, leopards, cheetahs, lions, and cougars? Our lion cages are designed to safely hold all types of cats including small species like lynxes, bobcats, ocelots, and other smaller felines. Our enclosures are constructed of rust-proof stainless steel and use the finest hardware for reliable service.

Stainless Steel Lion Cage

If you are maintaining or upgrading an existing enclosure, we have many door designs that are easily incorporated into new and existing enclosures and housing.

We custom-fabricate access doors that are secure and make feeding and training safe and easy. Otto Environmental also manufactures stainless-steel guillotine doors for indoor and outdoor applications. This door design is common at zoos but is also recommended by the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine for dog pens in animal shelters.

One of our most popular items is the Sliding Door Assembly. It makes it easy for handlers to transfer animals in and out of pens and enclosures. The precision-built hardware allows the door to be operated with little effort while holding up to daily use.

Sliding Door Assembly

Additionally, Otto Environmental manufactures stainless-steel access doors for your laboratory, clinic, zoo, or university.

Stainless Steel Personnel Doors

All of our cages, doors and access products are made of high-quality stainless steel and fabricated by skilled craftsmen for years of trouble-free service. Working with a builder or architect? We will work with them to find the right product for your project. Need a custom size? We’ll build it to your specifications!

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Orangutan Conservation Practices & Techniques


Orangutans are one of the most popular primates in zoos and wildlife parks. Their distinctive red fur and expressive face always draw a crowd.

Did you know that the Malay word orangutan means “man of the forest”? These apes spend most of their time living in the trees. They build nests made of leaves for sleeping at night and lounging during the day. Unfortunately, orangutans are endangered. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the Bornean sub-species of orangutan as Endangered and the Sumatran sub-species as Critically Endangered.

Found only in Borneo and Sumatra, wild orangutan populations are under tremendous pressure from habitat loss and poaching. The main threats are:

  • Deforestation and loss of habitat

  • Illegal hunting

  • Expansion of palm oil plantations

  • Selling baby orangutans as pets

Orangutans live up to 50 years, but because females reproduce once every 5-10 years maintaining the population is difficult. Loss of habitat is especially tough on conservation projects. Despite all this, conservation efforts continue to succeed. The Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) project has released 500 orangutans back into the wild. BOS researchers just celebrated the successful birth of a baby in the Kehje Sewen Forest, by a rehabilitated orangutan named Lesan.

As you can imagine, research and conservation efforts are critical for the survival of the orangutan as well as other apes. Otto Environmental is dedicated to supporting these efforts by providing the tools you need to accomplish this important conservation work.

One of the most important factors in working with these highly intelligent and strong apes is having a safe and secure enclosure. Captive orangutans have a long history of finding ways to escape enclosures by figuring out how to defeat latches and claps, even using objects as tools. Large primates like orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, gibbons, and other species often require a large cage or enclosure. Off-the-shelf enclosures may not meet the needs of the animal or the facility. We are often called upon to help design and manufacture unique caging solutions for zoos, animal parks, exotic veterinary clinics, universities, and research centers. Our animal enclosures can be customized to meet your requirements. Whether it is a veterinary restraint cage or a rolling animal transport cart, we can build it.

Animal Transport Cart
Animal Transport Cart
Stainless Steel Veterinary Restraint Cage
Stainless Steel Veterinary Restraint Cage

All of our enclosures, doors, and transport carts are made of 304 stainless steel. All hardware including hinges, wheels, and latches are of the highest quality for years of trouble-free service.

The fit and finish are truly exceptional. We do not cut corners! At Otto Environmental we never stop working on ways to make your important conservation and research projects easier and even more successful. If you have questions about enclosures or need help with a project, please contact us and we’ll help you find the right solution!

Cage Access Door
Cage Access Door
Lion Caging
Lion Caging
Animal Transport Cart with Squeeze XL
Animal Transport Cart with Squeeze XL
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Preparing Your Animal Facility for Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Everybody enjoys receiving a special Valentine’s gift. It shows they are loved and appreciated. The same goes for the animals in our care.

Donors and patrons like to include their favorite zoo, shelter, rescue, and petting park in their holiday celebrations. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to “matchmake” your animals with the public. Lee County Humane Society had a two-day Love Unleashed Valentine’s event to connect potential adopters to “fur friends.” The San Antonio Zoo is hosting its annual Wild at Heart Valentine’s dinner. Attendees get to dine on gourmet food while enjoying the company of Timothy and Ulma, the zoo’s hippos. Maybe your facility does not have gourmet dining or hippos. Not to worry. Here are some simple and fun valentines events you can adapt to your zoo, shelter, or animal care facility.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers a kids-only valentines night featuring pizza and a guided tour to meet small animals. Parents drop off their children while they enjoy a stroll through the zoo. For the 21+ crowd the zoo offers the Love is in the Air event. Visitors enjoy an adult beverage and take a romance-themed nighttime tour through the park.

Valentine’s Day is also a great time to offer friends and supporters a way to donate.

The Rogers Williams Park Zoo runs an annual Valentine’s Day Gift Guide as an online method for cash donations.

The Pennsylvania SPCA has an annual Send a Shelter Valentine. For a $10 donation, a special valentine is hung on the animal’s kennel door. The donation goes toward the shelter’s needs in caring for dogs, cats, birds, and small animals.

Supporters often like to donate specific items for their favorite animals. It provides a personal connection between the gift and the animal. Here are a few of the most popular enrichment toys that are gifted to shelters, zoos, veterinary practices, and other animal facilities.

Kong is a well-known brand among pet owners and animal care professionals. We carry the full line of Kong products. You’ll find toys for dogs, wolves, and other canids. Did you know Kong makes enrichment products for large animals like horses, lions, tigers, bears, dolphins, and primates? Kong has something for just about every animal.

Kong Zoo Horse Kong

Need something for a petting farm?

Consider these swine enrichment products as gift ideas. Children love small animals like mice, gerbils, hamsters, small primates, ferrets, and other furry friends. These small enrichment toys are ideal for Valentine’s gifts.

Pigs Playing with Easyfix Luna 50

Don’t forget the birds!

Parrots, cockatoos, cockatiels, and other birds are fascinated by colorful objects that rattle and can be manipulated. Visitors enjoy watching birds play with rings, bells, and mirrors. No matter what kind of bird, we’ve got a bird-friendly enrichment toy that will entertain and make a fun gift.

Avian Looking Bowl Mirror

Whether your facility is an exotic animal center or a local animal shelter, Valentine’s Day celebrations are an effective way to bring awareness to your important work and provide supporters with a way to grow closer to the animals in your care.

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Celebrating New Arrivals at Zoos Across the World

One of the most exciting times for zoos and animal parks is when they acquire an animal or a new “family member” is born at the facility.

New animals thrill visitors and staff alike. It also highlights the important work of wildlife conservation, captive breeding, and public education. At Otto Environmental we want to celebrate these new arrivals and highlight the zoos and parks that make this possible!

The Milwaukee County Zoo welcomes a new Gentoo penguin.

Gentoo penguins are native to Antarctica. These birds can reach a height of 51 to 90 cm (20 to 35 in) making them the third-largest species of penguin after the emperor and king penguins. The largest populations are found on the Falkland Islands. Zookeepers report that the chick is growing quickly, and that parents Oscar and Fiona are doing well caring for it. At this point, they are old pros, as several of their other offspring also live in the penguin habitat. Staff said “ The birds “are very curious and always up to something!”

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium added four Cheetah cubs to their facility.

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is one of nine Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited institutions that participate in the National Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition. “Not long ago, cheetahs were considered one of the more difficult species to breed in zoos,” said Dr. Jason Herrick, Vice President of Conservation and Animal Health for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. “Over the last couple of decades, the members of the National Cheetah Breeding Center Coalition, including our Wildlife Safari Park, have worked together to really figure out how to breed cheetahs.” The cubs were born at an off-display breeding site at the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Park in Ashland.

Highland Wildlife Park celebrated the one year birthday of UK’s only polar bear cub, Brodie.

Brodie was born on 14 December 2021 to parents Victoria and Arktos. Keepers kicked off the party with a birthday ice-cake made of carrots, hot dogs, apples, cod liver oil, and peanut butter frosting. Brodie shared his cake with his mom who also celebrated a birthday, turning 26 in December. Vickie Larkin, carnivore team leader at Highland Wildlife Park said “Like all the animals in our care, our polar bears play an important role in attracting and engaging thousands of visitors each year so they can learn about the threats animals face in the wild and the action they can take to help. Their power to connect with people with nature and encourage behavior change is invaluable.”

Polar bear mother (Ursus maritimus) ying down on tundra, with new born playing, Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada

The Kansas City Zoo announced the birth of a rare black rhino calf.

The black rhino is considered critically endangered. Poaching has put pressure on wild populations. It is estimated that only about 740 black rhinos are left in the wild. Only 53 are found in accredited zoos and breeding facilities. Staff report the calf, and its mother are doing well.

Park visitors and patrons want to support this essential conservation work. We are introducing a new feature called Wishlist. Wishlist makes it easy to donate for special occasions in the animal’s life. Registered zookeepers are welcome to create a wish list that can be shared with customers through web links and social media.

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Benefits of Wash Baskets for Zoo, Park, Shelter, and Laboratory

Its no secret that caring for an animal is a big job.

If you work at a zoo, shelter, laboratory, or petting farm, you’ve got dozens or hundreds of animals that need daily attention. Your time is valuable and anything that makes the daily tasks easier and faster frees up more time for other projects like enrichment and research activities. One of the most common “everyday” tasks at animal facilities is providing drinking water and nutrition. It takes time for staff to collect, clean, fill, and distribute food, water, and other essentials. Wash baskets, bottle fillers, carts, and other time-saving devices increase efficiency, and make daily tasks go quicker with less work.  That’s why we created the Otto Environmental basket line of products. Here’s how to reduce work and free up more time for you and your staff.

Stainless Steel Mesh Wash Basket
Bottle Filler 12
Stainless Steel Mesh Wash Basket in Feed Cart

Bottle baskets

Whether your providing animals with drinking water or dosing pharmaceuticals in a research study, bottle baskets make the job easier. Our stainless-steel bottle baskets are designed for easy loading. Dirty bottles are quickly collected and secured in the individual compartments. Put an end to “bouncing bottles” tumbling from a tray. If you use glass bottles, you know the hassle of cleaning up broken glass. We designed our bottle baskets with features not found in generic products.

  • 304 Stainless-steel wire construction
  • Sliding lid that won’t fall out or get lost
  • Stackable design keeps baskets stable
Bottle Basket 10
Bottle Basket Plus








Our basic Bottle Basket holds 24 bottles. The Bottle Basket Plus holds 24 8-oz  French square and low-profile bottles, and has duel sliding lids. If your facility requires a smaller-capacity basket, consider the Bottle Basket 12. It holds 12 16-oz bottles. To make filling the bottles easier, use a bottle filler. Fill all the bottles at once!

Bottle Basket 12

Ergonomics and safety matter!

Carrying baskets of bottles and other materials can be tricky in a busy lab, zoo, or shelter. Slip and fall incidents occur in every work environment. Floors are often wet or slippery. The animal enclosures may be some distance from the preparation area. A basket cart makes it easier to retrieve and deliver bottles. Carts relieve muscular microtrauma brought on by repetitive motion, keeping staff in good health and positive mental outlook. There is a cart for every type of facility. Need to transport a lot of baskets? The Bottle Basket Cart SE has it covered. Speaking of covers, we’ve got lightweight covers and carriers for single baskets.

Bottle Basket Cart SE

Hygiene can’t be ignored!

It doesn’t matter if you maintain a veterinary practice, large lab, or a vast zoo, enclosure hygiene is critical for animal health. Best practices and IACUC protocols require washing, decontaminating, or sterilizing equipment like water bottles and other equipment. Our stainless-steel wash baskets make it easy to power-wash, degrease, or autoclave bottles, tools, and enrichment devices. The same applies to our bottle baskets.

Stainless Steel Wash Basket

The benefits of baskets

No matter what type of animals you’re working with, baskets provide an array of benefits to staff and the animals in your care.


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The Benefits of Ball-Style Enrichment Products

There’s something fun and exciting about rolling, throwing, and catching a ball.

Maybe you’ve played fetch with a dog or watched a cat bat a ball around. The truth is many animals, both exotic and domestic, obtain entertainment and comfort with ball enrichment devices. Balls facilitate exercise, exploration, interaction with the environment and other animals, and can also be a bond-forming between animals and caregivers. We have ball-style environmental enrichment products for all sizes of animals ranging from mice to hoof stock. Keep in mind when it comes to enrichment, the only limit is your imagination. A tough dog ball works with pigs, horses, and primates. A tiny bird ball can be used with small cats and even rodents like mice and rats.

The Jolly Ball Push-N-Play was designed to be an indestructible dog ball. These balls hold up to fetching, chewing, and rough play. They even float! That makes the Jolly Ball ideal for pigs, zebras, wolves, and primates ranging from apes to macaques. The Texas Biomedical Research Institute recommends the use of balls for primate manipulative enrichment. In particular, hard plastic balls, like the Jolly Ball, are recommended.

Jolly Ball Push-N-Play

Feeder balls, like the Stubbs England Horsey Ball, have proven to be effective enrichment with a variety of animals like zebras, horses, pigs, wolves, coyotes and other foraging animals.

The Horsey Ball is a “dribble feeder.” The idea is to load the ball with appropriate biscuit or kibbled foods. As the device is rolled, nudged, or handled, food is slowly dispensed. This multisensory enrichment using treat-based puzzle-solving has proven effective with swine, primates, and bears. Treat-dispensing balls have even helped with captive walruses!

Stubbs England Horsey Ball

Research continues to show that enrichment is beneficial and even essential for small animal health in zoo, shelter, and research settings. Soft ball products like the Ferret Sport Ball are easy for animals like mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small mammals to nudge, carry, roll and nestle. The Atomic Nut Ball is an all-wood toy designed to be chewable. This satisfies the desire of rabbits and other small animals to gnaw and chew, preventing boredom and stereotypical behavior in enclosures and petting displays.

Atomic Nut Ball
Ferret Sport Ball

Don’t forget the birds!

Conures, African grays, cockatoos, cockatiels, and other parrots love to manipulate, taste, rattle, and tug on small balls. Foraging balls provide puzzle-solving activities with a food reward and have been shown to be effective with parrots. The hanging Buffet Ball provides parrots with needed visual, tactile, and taste stimuli.

Buffet Ball

Caring for large animals? They’ll benefit from large balls!

Amber Barnes, writing about horse enrichment for, recommends rolling enrichment devices coupled with food dispensing. Sheep, goats, cattle, large primates, and bears will benefit from products like the huge 30” Planet Ball. It’s big, tough, and easy to roll!

30″ Planet Ball

No matter what type of animals you have in your facility, there are ball-style enrichment devices that improve animal health, quality of life, and research outcomes.