Koko’s Birthday is one of the biggest holidays we celebrate here at the Gorilla Foundation, I have learned.
When I started work at the Foundation in early May (2014) the preparations for this year’s birthday bash had already begun. The theme (“flowers and sustainability”) had been picked by Andrea and the ideas for decoration and enrichment were flowing. I was asked to start working on the decoration ideas and to make them as soon as possible. I began that day and continued working until a few days before her birthday on July 4th.
The week leading up to Koko’s birthday kind of reminded me of the week before Christmas in my house: making sure that decorations were ready to be placed, presents were wrapped, food was prepared, and that everything would go smoothly on the big day!
Then it was finally here, July 4, 2014, Koko’s 43rd Birthday! You could feel the excitement. It was such a great day for the gorillas, with special enrichment items , presents, fun food, and, of course, decorations. Not only did Koko and Ndume have a wonderful fun-filled day, so did the caregivers, watching the gorillas enjoying the fruits of their work.
I could not have asked for a better way to spend my 4th of July than celebrating Koko’s 43rd Birthday and watching with awe and amazement as this truly inspiring gorilla blew out her 3 candles.
More photos of Koko’s birthday . . .
Blog by Amy M. Jones, Gorilla Caregiver / Research Assistant