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Mai 2018

BURRI for animals

The ‘TIMO’ feeding box prototype in a bear enclosure

Bärenland (‘Bear Land’) in Arosa will be open to the public from the summer of 2018, and will eventually be a home for up to five bears. BURRI has developed five new food boxes for the sanctuary.

(See video below)

The groundbreaking ceremony for Arosa Bärenland took place in the summer of 2017. The new sanctuary stands for modern and sustainable animal welfare, and is not only helping to boost the appeal of the region in the summer season, but is also providing poorly-kept animals with an appropriate habitat in Arosa’s natural surroundings.

TIMO was specially developed with animal welfare in mind. The box contains three food repositories, which supplies portions of feed using a timer. The repositories are kept in place with an electronic magnet, which also facilitates noise-free feeding. A battery was used to allow the stations to run autonomously and without a power supply. These are charged independently using solar energy, making the stations even more environmentally friendly. The TIMO is required to be extremely robust and is thus constructed using stainless steel.

Numerous food boxes are distributed in different locations across the 2.8 ha natural landscape. Because the bears do not know at what time and at which location the food will be available, they must travel for several hours each day in search of food, which is accordance with their normal behaviours. This natural challenge for the bears has been proven to help prevent the behavioural problems that can arise when the bears become bored.

BURRI's TIMO food box prototype was tested for technical feasibility at Zurich Zoo’s ‘Sangay Cloud Forest’, with the assistance of Andean bears that were already familiar with food boxes. As the results show, the Andean bears quickly learned that it is not possible to manipulate the box. Afterwards, the bears only made their usual rounds every 10 to 15 minutes. Depending on the bear, the length of stay at the TIMO was somewhere between 5 and 60 seconds. The aim of the feeding principle was thus achieved, and the TIMO remained undamaged and firmly in place until the end of the test.