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Tuesday, March 1

Thanks to a generous donation from Katherine and John Gallagher, the Hoofstock Department recently received a tamer for our giraffe barn. What is a tamer, you may ask? It is essentially a fancy chute system that makes it easier and safer for keepers and vet staff to work in close proximity with our giraffes. If you follow Zoo Atlanta on Facebook, you may have already gotten a sneak peak of our beautiful new tamer on Amanda’s #TakeoverTuesday. We are really excited to start using this baby! We’ve made some modifications to our barn and one of the corrals to accommodate for the tamer. It attaches directly to one of our stalls in the barn so that the giraffes simply walk through it to shift into an outdoor corral. There is also an option to shift the giraffes through the barn another way and out into a different outdoor area. It’s always nice to have options!

 

Like the old system, there are catwalk areas on both sides that allow the keeper to stand at eye level with the giraffes. There are some new exciting features as well! There are several doors on every side that allow access to the animal’s feet, legs, neck, head, sides and rear.  We also have the ability to tip part of the tamer on its side in the event that our vet staff needs it for a procedure. Don’t worry, there are support straps and cushy pads to keep the giraffe safe! I and the other keepers included are probably most excited about the built-in scale platform. In the past, keepers had to set up a really heavy scale platform in the stalls to weigh the giraffes monthly. That may not sound too taxing, but not having to set it up every month is like a ray of sunshine for the keepers. Now all we have to do is plug in a scale reader and go! We only have a few more small adjustments to make on our corral fencing, and the tamer will be fully operational! In the meantime, the giraffes are getting used to this shiny new plaything from the safety of another corral! Stay tuned for more updates.
Bridget Smith
Keeper I, Mammals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl