Guess what, everyone … it’s my birthday today! I’m looking forward to celebrating the day with lots of tasty food and cake, as well as spending time with my friends and family. With as many animals as we have here at Zoo Atlanta, you can probably guess that we end up celebrating quite a few animal birthdays throughout the year too!
Our Primate Department is chock full of summer birthdays so we have all been very busy these past few months preparing special treats and enrichment to give out on their special days. While the cake that we as humans eat is a fun treat, that type of food isn’t necessarily the healthiest option for our animals, so we end up getting pretty creative when making special birthday “cakes” for the animals in our care. During these summer months, freezing juice in silicone molds with added fruits, nuts and seeds can create fun frozen “cakes” that are tasty and help keep the animals cool. Adding fun decorations of halved grapes (polka dots!), thin slices of melon (colorful icing!), and carrot sticks stuck in the top (candles!) help complete the masterpiece and give the animals a fun frozen fruit salad! Sometimes we can scatter popcorn or sunflower seeds (confetti!) and offer them wrapped boxes filled with hay and treats (presents!) inside for them to enjoy on their own or with their troop. With all of the animals in our department, we don’t always have a big public celebration for them out in their habitats, but we do enjoy offering them fun treats and enrichment activities when they come inside for the night. As keepers, we love spending every day with our animals, and while they may not necessarily know that it’s their birthday, you can bet we remember and do our very best to make those days special.
Currently, the other primate keepers and I are looking forward to celebrating three August birthdays:
– Drew, female drill – born August 31, 1997
– Lulu, female gorilla – born August 22, 1999
– Anaka, female gorilla – born August 30, 2013
You can come by the Monkeys of Makokou habitat to see Drew, and Gorilla Habitat #3 to see Lulu and Anaka, and wish them all a happy birthday!
Keeper I, Primates