The shape of enrichment, inc.

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Enrichment and Welfare Conferences and Courses

The Shape of Enrichment, Inc. is involved and helps to promote a variety of conferences and courses involving enrichment and welfare for animals that take place throughout the year. The main ones we are affiliated with are:

  • The International Conference on Environmental Enrichment (ICEE), held in a different country every other year (in odd numbered years).
  • Regional Environmental Enrichment Conferences (REECs), held in countries with a satellite Shape of Enrichment committee every other year, on years when there is not an international conference (even numbered years).
  • Student Environmental Enrichment Courses (SEECs), conducted by Shape instructors in various locations in the UK upon request from colleges and universities.

Others include:

  • European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) annual conference
  • American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) annual conference
  • International Congress of Zookeepers (ICZ) annual conference
  • The Alliance of Behavior Management Association (ABMA) annual conference
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) professional course, "Environmental Enrichment in Zoos and Aquariums"
  • Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) professional course, "Animal Welfare: Evidence-Based Management"

Upcoming events

    • 16 Apr 2020
    • (CDT)
    • 18 Apr 2020
    • (CDT)
    • Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, USA


    The SHAPE of Enrichment and Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch present a 3-Day Enrichment Workshop from April 16 - 18, 2020.

    This workshop is for animal caretakers, front line supervisors, and others working with captive species, including primates, equines, native and exotic wildlife, and farm animals.

    SHAPE instructors Mark Kingston Jones and
    Margaret Whittaker will guide participants through a process to develop more holistic and goal-oriented enrichment programs.

    Lecture topics include animal welfare and an enrichment overview including framework, safety, and evaluation. The practical components will include behavioral problem solving and rope splicing workshops. Participants will apply the principles covered in the presentations when we split into groups to design, build, and test enrichment with animals at the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch.

    The Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch is a world-renowned animal sanctuary located on more than 1,400 acres in Murchison, Texas, USA, founded in 1979 by author and animal advocate Cleveland Amory. The sanctuary is home to over 800 animals comprising over 40 species, many of which were rescued from situations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

    • Ice breaker (4/15, 6 - 8:30 p.m.; plan to arrive in time to attend)
    • Banquet dinner (4/18)
    • All lunches
    • Morning and afternoon tea breaks, including snacks
    • Workshop materials

    Registration payment may be made via PayPal to Shape of Enrichment/Margaret Whittaker; search, or by check to Shape of Enrichment – email Margaret for mailing address.

    The Workshop hotel is the Fairfield Inn & Suites, Van/Canton Area (~1.5 drive from Dallas airports). The hotel is offering a special price of US$99/night plus tax. Room options include 2 queen beds or 1 king. If you are interested in sharing a room, but need a roommate, please let us know and we can connect you with someone else looking. Use the link below to make a reservation and be sure to mention Shape of Enrichment Workshop. The discounted rate is available Wed, April 15, 2020 to Sun, April 19, 2020. THE LAST DAY TO BOOK WITH THIS RATE IS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1, 2020.

    Hotel link:

    For a registration form, please email:

    Margaret Whittaker at

    Traci Hanson at

    Please return completed registration form by March 23 to both Margaret AND Traci.

    Thanks! Any questions, please contact Margaret or Traci by email or Margaret by cell at (832)428 9637.

    We look forward to seeing you at the Workshop!

    • 10 Jun 2020
    • (UTC+01:00)
    • 12 Jun 2020
    • (UTC+01:00)
    • Newquay Zoo, Newquay, UK

    Newquay Zoo is proud to be hosting the 8th UK and Ireland Regional Environmental Enrichment Conference from 10-12 June 2020.

    SHAPE-UK and Ireland is the regional division of The Shape of Enrichment, Inc. that is dedicated to furthering enrichment efforts in the UK and Ireland. The mission of REEC meetings is to provide a venue for animal carers from smaller regions of the world to meet and discuss environmental enrichment. All of our meetings have been a great success; featuring workshops, keynote speakers and practical sessions to encourage and inform animal care staff about enrichment.

    Join us for REEC 2020 in Newquay for what promises to be another fantastic conference packed with keynote speakers, talks, workshops and, of course, some great social events.

    Early bird registration for the 2020 meeting is open until 31 March 2020 at a cost of £150 per delegate. This includes a pre-conference icebreaker on the evening of Tuesday 9th June and attendance at all three conference days.

    There will be a conference social event on Thursday 11th June at an additional cost of £20.

    After the early bird deadline, the registration cost will rise to £170.

    Register here

    Conference Key note speakers:

    Zak Showell, Director, Shaldon Wildlife Trust/BIAZA Living Collections Vice Chair/Co-Chair of BIAZA Records Group

    Peter McGregor, Professor of Animal Behavior at ISPA, Lisbon, Portugal

    • 10 Aug 2020
    • (UTC+01:00)
    • 12 Aug 2020
    • (UTC+01:00)
    • Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary, Ascot, UK

    This 3-day course in collaboration with Hose2Habitat will be hosted by Lakeview Monkey Sanctuary, providing a unique opportunity for participants to see the work of this sanctuary, home to 35 rescued primates.

    Designed around the Shape of Enrichment workshop format, this BIAZA-certified course is for keepers and animal caregivers currently working with captive species. Instructors Mark Kingston Jones and Chris Hales will guide participants through a process to develop holistic and goal-oriented enrichment programs at their own facilities. The course is split between lecture and practical, hands-on components. Animal welfare, an overview of the framework of enrichment, safety, and evaluation will be presented, and participants will engage in behavioral problem solving, fire hose and rope splicing workshops, and working in groups to create and test enrichment with the sanctuary's primate residents.

    Registration information will be posted as it becomes available.

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