A dynamic, passionate and hardworking team
Hey everyone, my name is Sara Fee and I’m a Senior Keeper working with the gorillas in the Primate Department. I’d really like to tell you about the amazing team that I have the honor of working with, and about what it takes to take care of the 19 gorillas here at Zoo Atlanta. I’m the newest member of the Primate Department, having only been here about five months, but I come from a background working with a wide variety of primates at another zoo, as well as a conservation project in West Africa working with gorillas. Zoo Atlanta has one of the largest populations of gorillas in North America, and it is no small feat taking care of them each and every day, but thankfully I work with a wonderful, dynamic, passionate and hardworking group of dedicated individuals who make each day the best one yet.
Our day-to-day work involves a lot of cleaning and preparing. Every day we clean each of our five habitats, as well as all of the indoor spaces, to ensure all of the gorillas stay happy and healthy. This cleaning involves a lot of raking, sweeping, hosing, scrubbing, and sometimes more scrubbing. We also spend much of the day preparing the food items, treats and enrichment, and keeping all our offices, kitchens and every other nook and cranny neat and tidy. Again, with 19 gorillas, it takes a small village to keep our normal days running smoothly. When projects require multiple hands, arms, shoulders or just extra cheerleaders, everyone is always eager to help. While these large, heavy and complicated projects often push us to our physical limits, the smiles and laughter are never in short supply. This also involves excellent communication among the entire team about all things going on with each gorilla every day. We have daily meetings each morning to make sure we are all up to speed and on track, we stretch together to make sure our hardworking bodies stay limber and healthy for our physically demanding jobs, we have weekly meetings to discuss advancements in gorilla care and all things gorillas as a large group, and we always tell each other good morning and good night.
Each person on the Gorilla Care Team has his or her own unique personality, as well as strengths. We have a few teammates who spend time in other sections within the Primate Department, and even though they may spend a little less time with the gorillas, they are still fully involved and committed to the best care they can provide for them and all the primates in our department. Even though I’m the “new kid on the block,” I feel every bit a part of the crazy, wonderful family that is the Zoo Atlanta Primate Department! Thank you will never be enough for what they do and how much of themselves they commit every day to the care of the magical animals we are so lucky to care for. So, from the whole of my heart, thank you, Zoo Atlanta Primate Family!
Senior Keeper, Primate Team