Gorilla Academy at Zoo Knoxville helps primates learn sign language, create art

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Kids are back in school in Knox County, and so are the gorillas at Zoo Knoxville. Zookeepers gave us an inside look at what they call Gorilla Academy on their Facebook page.

Each keeper has one to two gorillas primarily in their care, and on a regular basis, they work one on one with them to make art and learn basic sign language to communicate their needs.

They also offer special enrichment training, using honey and fruit as treats. They say this special bond between gorillas and their keepers is incredibly important to keep them active and to make the animals more comfortable when receiving medical care.

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