Werribee Open Range Zoo has devised an interesting new piece of equipment to deliver food to their gorillas. Known as the Vegie Express it is being used by keepers to launch eggplant, capsicum, sweetcorn and greens into the exhibit.
The new device means keepers can scatter feed around the exhibit and not need to lock the gorillas in their night dens. This means they have more time to forage and keeps them active.
There are two launch pads for the Vegie Express located outside the exhibit. Each comes with a series of air-compressed stainless steel barrels which are loaded with food.
Visitors are then able to assist in launching the food from the visitor trail.
Keepers spent a number of months testing the system and a number of fruits and vegies before they unleashed it on the gorillas.
The bachelor troop of gorillas consisting of Motaba, Ganyeka and Yakini have quickly learnt that the Vegie Express means food. They have been up and about looking for food, moving around the exhibit and have left no blade of grass unturned during their hunt. Some food even lands in their hammock encouraging them to climb and explore.
Keepers use the Vegie Express as different times throughout the day so the gorillas remain interested and engages in the experience.
Gorillas are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They are under threat from the illegal mining of coltan which is a mineral used to make mobile phones.
To help gorillas survive into the future you can make sure you recycle your phone instead of throwing it out.
Photo Credit: Werribee Open Range Zoo