Animals can get bored. We're here to help.
We are WildThink, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded to help zoos and sanctuaries prevent boredom and stress in their animals by encouraging animals to use their brains and bodies as they would in the wild.
Our purpose is to design puzzles and toys (called enrichment) to stimulate problem-solving and physical activity for animals in zoos and sanctuaries. We also aim to inspire animal caretakers to create inventive enrichment for the animals under their care, and to act as a resource for all things related to animal enrichment.
The Animal Vending Machine
We have developed a brand new type of enrichment device that puts a technological spin on foraging enrichment—the Animal Vending Machine. The Animal Vending Machine was originally designed for apes, who spend countless hours searching for food in the wild. The AVM encourages animals to “forage” for tokens in a search-and-find manner, which they then bring back to the vending machine to exchange for a food reward—such as nuts, dried fruits, popcorn, and more. Animal caretakers can hide or scatter tokens around an exhibit, or tokens can be placed in puzzles or other enrichment for added challenge. Our machine requires animals to engage in problem solving tasks and to move about their enclosures, so animals spend their time engaging in natural, purpose-driven behaviors instead of abnormal or boredom-based ones.