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Engineering a New Way to Feed Gorillas

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At first, the gorillas didnt know what to make of it. During the first feeding, the primates ran away and looked confused when the food suddenly sprayed around their habitat.

The $400 ForageFeader is open source and easy to manufacture and modify, which allows zoos around the nation to replicate the device.

Credit: Adam Thompson/Zoo Atlanta

Georgia Institute of Technology scientists have built an automatic feeding machine for gorillas at Zoo Atlanta that allows for more natural foraging.

The ForageFeeder combines a deer feeder bucket with acrylic materials and three-dimensionally-printed components; electronics, software, and a remote activation trigger complete the machine.

The feeder hangs 15 feet from a tree and food falls from the bucket onto a tray, where rotors spray the food in a circular configuration as far away as 30 feet.

The ForageFeeder currently services nine gorillas, and Zoo Atlanta's Josh Meyerchick believes the statistical data will eventually demonstrate increased foraging behavior among the primates.

From Georgia Tech College of Engineering News
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