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Keeper Stories – Tuesday, December 27

Hello, everyone! The holidays came and went so quickly, didn’t they? We here at Zoo Atlanta love to take in all of the holiday cheer and we even let our gorillas get to take part in the holiday festivities! One way we can share the holiday season with our animals is through enrichment. This year we were about to do several fun enrichment items to make the gorilla building feel extra festive!

I don’t know about you guys, but my absolute favorite part of this season are the lights. My family and I drive all over town looking for lights to enjoy together. This year we found a way to bring the lights to our animals. We have a wonderful light machine that has several different colors that project on the wall. The animals are able to sit and watch the lights change colors and twist and turn as they are projected on their walls. I often like to watch the lights with the animals and see their reactions to the different colors as they dance across the room.

Of course the holidays wouldn’t quite be the same without presents, and we couldn’t let our gorillas miss out on the thrill of opening gifts. On December 17 we had a special enrichment day where we got to give gifts to the animals. Our Enrichment Team wrapped gift boxes and filled them with some of the gorillas’ favorite goodies, like hay, raisins and grapes. The hay is very important in the boxes because it allows the animals to forage – something they would do naturally in the wild.

Finally, nothing makes you feel more festive than a Christmas tree! We are lucky enough to get several trees donated to the Zoo – and our gorillas love them! We pass out the trees to be used for browse. The gorillas love to strip and eat the bark off of the trees. The keepers love when the trees are delivered because the building smells so amazing!

The holidays are my favorite time of the year and I am always so happy that we get to share this time with our gorillas. I hope everyone had a very Happy Holidays with their families and friends, and I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year!
Gabby Bernard
Keeper I, Primates

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl