If you’ve been to the Zoo in the last month or two, you may have noticed some construction fencing around the old Cyclorama building. However, if you’ve visited us in the last few weeks, you may have noticed that the construction fencing has recently also appeared in some areas in our African Plains section of the Zoo. Construction is now officially underway on the habitat portion of the Grand New View project. For those of you who haven’t heard, we are building an all-new African savanna featuring upgraded habitats for African elephants and several other of our African savanna species. While our hoofstock animals won’t be visible to guests until early 2019 when Grand New View opens, we can assure you, we’re still back here!
In order to prep for construction, a few animals had to be relocated. We have some new residents in our main hoofstock barn! You may remember being greeted by our warthog ladies, Eleanor and Shirley, soon after you entered the Zoo. They made a short trip up the hill and are now settling into our main barn nicely. We also recently moved our lovely ostrich girls, Orange and Purple, from their barn into the main barn. Our meerkat mob will soon be moving to a new habitat near the Wieland Wildlife Home – stay tuned for updates on seeing the meerkats in their new digs!
While these animals won’t be visible for a little while, don’t worry, hoofstock keepers are taking great care of them behind the scenes. We’ll have even more time for training, enrichment, and interaction with our animals. An exciting new enrichment development for our giraffe boys is the implementation of new browse species! Giraffes primarily forage on acacia trees in the wild. However, the climate here in Georgia is not suitable for it to grow. We are now getting weekly deliveries of acacia to supplement the giraffes’ usual daily browse. We just got our first shipment in today and can’t wait to see how the boys like it! In addition to the acacia, we will also offer holiday trees to the hoofstock animals for the next month or so! Abu is really enjoying scratching and snacking on his tree … and the keepers don’t mind a natural perfume instead of Abu’s usual musk. Stay tuned for more updates from the Hoofstock Team!
Keeper II, Mammals