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Photo: Laura Pelrine Zoo New England
Have you ever visited a zoo and wondered why some of the animals have decidedly human objects (like bouncy balls) in their environments? You can find out the science behind the fun on Saturday at the Franklin Park Zoo. These carefully-chosen items provide enrichment for the animals, because interacting with them excites their senses and encourages the animals to use their natural instincts to interact with their environment. Saturday at the Zoo is "Enrichment Day," an opportunity for visitors to observe animals interacting with items selected especially for them. In addition, in honor of the Zoo's centennial, the animals will be interacting with special birthday-themed enrichment items, including presents filled with ice treats and other fun surprises. A full day-long schedule of enrichment includes a present for a giant anteater at 10:30 a.m. and ice treats for red pandas at 2:30. Hey, who doesn't like a festive present to unwrap? Saturday, July 7, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Adults, $17; ages 62, $14; ages 2-12, $11; under 2 and members free. One Franklin Park Road, Dorchester. www.zoonewengland.org
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Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a kindergartner and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.