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Welcome to SHAPE—Africa

Host Information (FAQs)


How much does it cost to host an Enrichment Workshop?

The host institution is responsible for all costs associated with the Enrichment Workshop. To cover these costs, some hosts have charged the participants a registration fee and others have obtained sponsors. To help with your fundraising efforts, workshop instructors may be available to speak to a group immediately before or after the workshop.


What are the instructor(s) expenses?

Instructors donate their time for workshops held in developing countries. However their expenses (travel, housing, meals) are the responsibility of the host institution. Expenses will differ with each workshop. Below is a list of expenses to consider when planning a workshop

    * Transportation. Transportation to the area (for out-of-town participants) and between venues (e.g. to/from lecture area and host institution).

    * Food. Participants' meals may or may not be included. However, in most venues, we have found it helpful to provide lunch and coffee/tea breaks.

    * Lodging. If participants are arriving from out of town, the host should either provide them with lodging or recommendations.

    * Venue and Materials. The host is responsible for providing appropriate sites and equipment for each component of the workshop. If practical materials are needed, the host must supply them as well.

    * Miscellaneous. Other expenses we have encountered in the past are translation and photocopying.


How long is the Enrichment Workshop?

Each workshop is tailored to the host institution's needs. The shortest workshop to date has been 4 hours and the longest 4.5 days. Obviously, the longer the workshop, the more material we can cover and practicals we can schedule.


What time of day does the workshop meet?

This is determined by the host institution. Considerations include staff working hours and local customs. Often we offer optional discussions and/or video viewing at night in addition to a full day's schedule.


How many participants can attend the workshop?

This is determined by the host institution. We have conducted workshops with as few as 20 and as many as 75 participants. Of course, practicals become more difficult as the size of the group increases. For larger workshops, we may divide the group into 2 or more sections for practicals. Based on duration, curriculum, and practicals (type and number), we suggest 1 instructor for every 12-25 participants. For workshops including participants from multiple institutions, we recommend that at least 2 participants from each institution attend.


If we host a workshop, can we send different staff on different days to ensure that all who want to attend may?

This is discouraged because, with very few exceptions, each day's curriculum is designed to build on previous material. However, compromises may be found. For example, after the workshop is finished, the instructor could present a lecture to a larger audience, reviewing the workshop's content and activities.


Who determines the workshop content and activities?

The workshop instructor(s), having conferred with the host representative, will determine the content and activities based on need, duration, attendee experience, etc.


How are the instructors selected for each workshop?

The Shape of Enrichment has several approved workshop instructors, each with his or her own specialty. Our instructors are scattered around the globe, in the USA, Brazil, and Australia. Once the content and schedule of the workshop are determined, our Workshop Coordinator will assign the instructor(s) based on their availability and specialty.


How do we schedule an Enrichment Workshop?

Those interested in scheduling an Enrichment Workshop should contact the Workshop Coordinator as soon as possible. Because most of our instructors are working professionals, we recommend that prospective hosts have flexibility in scheduling the workshop. Dates will be determined by host and instructor availability.


For more information, contact the Workshop Coordinator, Valerie Hare.



Welcome to SHAPE—Africa



MiniWebs/Workshops/p1010041_copy_sm.jpgLetter from An Enrichment Workshop Host


November 18, 2006


Dear Ms. Hare,


Thank you so much for coming and doing the “Shape of Enrichment” workshop at our zoo. As you know, one of my primary goals for this workshop was for the zookeepers to see that they are members of a proud profession that has grown by leaps and bounds over the last 20 years. I wanted to expose them to state-of-the-art material regarding animal care.  The material you covered did that. I believe one of the most important components of the training was assessment, i.e. data collection. Assessing the pre‑enrichment behavior of the animal and the post‑enrichment behavior in a systematic way turns enrichment from a haphazard activity into real animal care that can be goal‑driven, planned and managed.

   Top-notch care for the animals is my other primary goal. I believe that empowering the zookeepers to learn and grow will ultimately result in the best possible care for all of the animals in our charge.  The practical was especially useful in this regard. The keepers were very surprised by the difference that a few simple enclosure changes made for the bobcats and addax. They learned a lot and I think they realized that they have so much to give.

   The training portion of the workshop was enlightening. The concept that we are ALWAYS training our animals, whether accidentally or purposefully is important. I doubt we could do major training from this introduction but it will help us in some basic areas. More importantly, I hope it will help us to stop reinforcing undesirable behavior.

MiniWebs/Workshops/p1010016_sm.jpg   Lastly, you did an extremely good job of tailoring the entire workshop to our specific needs. Because you are flexible and can modify the workshop from very basic to advanced I truly believe every zoo could benefit from this program. I look forward to having “Shape” back in a few years for an advanced workshop.



Lola D. Curtis

General Curator

Louisiana Purchase Gardens and Zoo, Monroe, Louisiana



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