Tuesday, June 14
Well, it’s summertime again, and we all know what that means in the South: It’s getting warm! We all try to do things to keep cool in the summertime. We wear cooler clothing, swim in pools, and use fans. Here at Zoo Atlanta, we spend lots of time making sure we do our best to beat the heat with the animals. Not only are we, the keepers, staying very hydrated, but we are also making sure our gorillas and other animals are staying hydrated too. All of the animals have ready supplies of fresh water in their habitats throughout the day, even if these aren’t visible to guests. But we also have many other creative ways to help the animals enjoy sun summer treats.
We actually have a handful of ways of ensuring the gorillas are getting plenty of fluids throughout the day. In each habitat we have a water device that works like a gorilla water fountain so they have constant access to drinking water. Ice treats are also a big help. Ice treats are exactly what they sound like: blocks of ice with fun treats (sunflower seeds, grapes or raisins) inside. We are able to toss these out to the gorillas during the course of the day to not only give them a fun treat, but to also give them something extra to drink! We also give extra fluids in liquid form during the day, whether it be a midday quick drink, or extra helpings of juice in the afternoon when they come inside for the evening.
Fans are also a very big help in keeping cool. We have big fans placed in the front of Habitat 3, and other fans closer to our gorilla building so our gorillas can enjoy a good breeze. The best part about summertime is going to the pool to cool off. Well, believe it or not, we have two pools in our gorilla habitats (one in Habitat 1 and one in Habitat 4). I think one of my favorite things to see is our bachelor groups taking advantage of that nice big pool in Habitat 4. Have you guys noticed our big, beautiful trees in our gorilla habitats? Well, not only do they offer a home for local wildlife, but they provide a lot of shade for our gorillas! All of these things really help us keep our gorillas cool. I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!
Keeper I, Primates