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Welcome to SHAPE—Africa




At the American Zoo and Aquarium Association Annual Conference that year, David Shepherdson presented a paper on enrichment. He ended by identifying a need for effective communication among those practicing enrichment, to share ideas about what does and doesn’t work. Karen Worley and Valerie Hare were in the audience and each thought, “I can do that!” Independently, but within minutes of each other, both approached Gary Priest, the San Diego Zoo’s enrichment curator, for advice about creating and funding such an endeavor. Gary literally took a step back and said “Karen Worley meet Valerie Hare. You two need to talk!” And Shape was born!



The first issue of The Shape of Enrichment was published and distributed. That year, the Enrichment Video Library was also established, later co-sponsored by the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK).



The Shape of Enrichment became the official publication and, in 1997, the official website of The International Conference on Environmental Enrichment (ICEE), and Karen Worley and Valerie Hare were invited to become members of the ICEE Committee.



The Shape of Enrichment became a non-profit corporation. David Shepherdson agreed to serve on its board of directors, along with Karen Worley and Valerie Hare.



The Shape of Enrichment went online with a website and e-mail address!



The Shape of Enrichment published the Proceedings of the 3rd ICEE Conference (held in 1997). Since then, Shape has published the proceedings for the 1999, 2001, and 2007 ICEE conferences.



The Shape of Enrichment conducted its first enrichment mini-course during the Brazilian Zoo Congress in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. That mini-course has evolved into The Shape of Enrichment Workshop, designed to assist animal caretakers in creating and assessing enrichment plans. Since then, Shape numerous workshops have been held in Brazil, South Africa, Uganda, Chile, Philippines, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and United States of America.



The first Shape—Regional, UK-Ireland, was created, originally as a REEC. Three additional Regionals, Africa, Australasia, and Brazil, had been formed by the end of 2007.



The Shape Core Group was formed to guide The Shape of Enrichment through its current growth, ultimately providing more services to better meet the enrichment needs of animal caretakers around the world.



On April 30, we launched the first phase of the new website, created to facilitate the projects and services undertaken by the Core Group. This user-friendly site includes significant information not available on the old site (e.g., enrichment basics, safety, the regionals, the organization, our volunteers, and more!). Future releases will offer even more information, some in searchable database format, for both professional and amateur animal caretakers. Stay tuned!



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