Fire Hose Weaving - Animal Enrichment

Hung on spring cable for tiger.
Our cats also enjoy it with rosemary. Meat can be tucked in weaves.
Elephants toss and kick them.

Fire Hose Weaving Instructions

Cut six (6) strips from 4.5 hose to be 45 long Drill 3/8 holes 2 from each end and in the center of the fire hose strip (holes will be 41 apart) Lay out 4 strips in a woven cross pattern as shown.
Bolt fifth strip into a ring Center ring on top of woven 4 Of the 8 strips now laying on the ground, weave alternating strips up through the ring. Use 1 1/4 long bolts , 1/4 in diameter, with washers and nuts and use vice grips to tighten.
Coil more of the 4.5 fire hose into a 10 diameter coil and place in the center of the ring to fill. It will not be a tight fit to allow room for the weaving in later steps.
Hanging ball for use with big cats: Place chain down through center coil, loop under bottom of coil, and bring end of chain up over 1st ring NOTE: For Rolling ball for elephants, no chain.
Then make a second coil of 4.5 fire hose, also 10 in diameter. Thread the chain from the top of the first coil up through the center of this second coil, and place second coil directly on top of first coil. Fasten chain coming over top of coil in middle to the chain coming out the bottom of coil, using a linking ring (see picture).
Take a sixth (6th) strip of fire hose from step 1 and place over the 2nd coil. Weave the bottom strips that are on the ground up through the new ring so that they are coming out the top.
Starting your numbering from any place, pick the first and fourth strips, fold over the top of the coils and bolt together to form a ring on top Then, take the 2nd and 7th bottom strips and fold over the first ring above, hiding the previous bolt. Bolt strips 2 & 7 together.
Take strips 5 and 8, fold over the top hiding the previous bolt (from strips 2& 7) and bolt together.
Pull up on the top ring that does not have a visible bolt to make an looser opening to weave the last strip through (you will be the ring formed from strips 1 & 4 and next to the one you just bolted in step 8).
Pull the end of strip #3 under this looser top ring from Step 9 and all the way through, using vice grips as needed.
You can now cover the visible bolt on top with strip #3 and match it up with strip #6 on the other side Bolt together through holes shown.
Bolt strip # 3 to Strip # 6 and the ring is complete except for moving this bolted piece around to hide the bolt.
Pull/muscle this last ring under the adjoining strips to hide the bolts. This takes a little pulling and tugging all over the ball!
Finished ball! Note that for big cats, another strip of fire hose should be used as a sheath to hide the chain to protect their teeth.
PLAY TIME Heavy and durable for use.

Honolulu Zoo Society

Animal enrichment within a zoo is a way for keepers to encourage and stimulate natural behaviors in our animals through sight, smell, taste, touch, and interaction. In a zoo setting, it is as important to provide mentally and physically-enriching activities for the animals as it is to provide nutritious, well-balanced diets.

Most enrichment materials that the zoo uses are everyday items that can be recycled and reused for our animals. Items such as clothes, bed sheets, stuffed animals, newspapers, and magazines are some of the many items that the zoo receives from our volunteers and the community.

Some examples of how simple items are used for enrichment:

  • Paper mache’ balloons are made and filled with treats to be hidden around the exhibit to encourage foraging
  • Bed sheets are knotted, hung, or shredded to create a different environment for our animals, used as bedding, or as a toy
  • Perfume is used to add exciting new scents for animals to explore in their enclosure
  • Spices are also distributed in their enclosures to provide both olfactory and taste stimulation


Main Research Source