Enrichment for the SF Zoo Gorillas

    The gorillas at the San Francisco Zoo enjoy much environmental enrichment. Ropes and hoses between the trees provide opportunities to swing and play acrobatically. Heavy pieces of leather and rubber tubs provide seating when the ground is a bit wet or cold. Large balls can not only be tossed but also sat or stood upon. Wood wool is sometimes provided for play and nesting. Tree stumps have holes in them where treats can be extracted by the tool-using gorillas. They often select a branch some distance away, modify it and bring it to the treat sites, and modify it again as necessary to fit the holes. In the morning, browse is scattered all over the enclosure so the gorillas move around to feed as they would in the wild.

Ropes provide a playground with opportunities to swing between the trees

"Wood wool" is used both as nesting and play material; large balls are used as perches and steps for reaching things

The gorillas are proficient tool users. They select, prepare and use sticks to extract treats placed in holes in tree trunks and stumps.

Joanne and gorilla keeper Mary Kerr prepare to put new leather pieces in the enclosure; the gorillas use these for play and seating.


- Dr. Joanne Tanner

- Charles Ernest



SF Zoo Gorillas


- Environment

- Enrichment

- Bwana

- Pogo

- Kubie

- Bawang

- Zura

- Shango

- Barney

- Nneka

- Oscar Jonesy

- Monifa

- Hasani


Gorilla Gestures Intro


Copyright 2010 Tanner and Ernest Productions. All rights reserved.