Wintertime with Loki and Thor
Howdy! My name is Kelly, and I am the newest keeper on the Carnivore Team in the Mammal Department! I moved up from Florida this summer to join the amazing team here at Zoo Atlanta. Back in Florida, I did multiple internships working with a variety of animals such as carnivores, hoofstock and primates. This is my first full-time position, and I couldn’t be more excited to get the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of carnivores. I get to work with species from three different continents! So cool!
Since I’m the newest human member of the Carnivore Team, I figured I’d introduce the newest animals to our department: Thor and Loki, our tanuki. Thor and Loki aren’t new to the Zoo, of course, just to us – they transferred to our care recently from the Ambassador Animals Department. The tanuki habitat is located on Trader’s Alley, so every time I worked our little guys routine (giant otters, fossa and binturong) I got to sneak a peek at them. I’m so excited to actually get to work with them now! Fun fact alert: Did you know that Zoo Atlanta is the only AZA zoo in the U.S. to house tanuki?
Since the transition, all of the carnivore keepers have been getting to know Thor and Loki. It’s so fun learning the personalities and behaviors of new animals. I just learned last week that Thor seems to enjoy bubbles! I mean … who doesn’t? Tanuki are the only animals in our department that go through torpor. Torpor is a stage of inactivity whereby the body temperature drops, allowing the organism to save energy. Since we’re gearing up for winter here at Zoo Atlanta, Thor and Loki have grown out their winter coats and are starting to spend more time sleeping. That means, come spring, we will get to know them all over again, this time in their more active state.
Stay up to date with Thor and Loki by following them on #TanukiThursday on Zoo Atlanta’s social media networks.
Keeper I, Mammals
(photo by Kelly Daire)