A carpenter who began working at Werribee Open Range Zoo this year has created an innovative device to help giraffes eat.
Marcel Gordon, who is employed by the zoo’s operations department, has built a “giraffe feeder enrichment device”.
The device, which recreates the way giraffes forage for food in the wild, consists of recycled Tupperware containers fixed onto a Perspex board.
Holes allow the giraffes to manipulate the treats inside the containers – usually carrots and pellets – into their mouths, moving their tongues like they would when eating leaves from a thorny acacia tree.
Giraffe keeper Katie Jones approached the zoo’s operations staff member with the idea for the device. She and Mr Gordon worked together to come up with the design.
“It’s a really great example of the way the different teams at Werribee Zoo work together to constantly improve animal welfare,” Mr Gordon said.
“Working at the zoo gives me the opportunity to think outside the box.
“One minute I can be hanging a hinge in the toilets and the next I’m doing this.”
Werribee Open Range Zoo is home to five male giraffes: Harold, Ajali, Jelani, Kona and Amani.