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These two are not always easy to spot in their habitat.

If you’ve visited the Zoo, you’ve likely met a lot of our more than 900 animal residents. Some animals are easy to spot, but others are often not as easy to see because of their habitat set up, their personalities or their sleep cycles among other things. We wanted to start a “Meet the Animals” section of our blog to introduce you to some of the residents that you may (or may not have) met yet!     

The vast veldt views from our Africa platform offer the opportunity to spot large native-African creatures, like our iconic giraffes or our trio of Southern white rhinos. While these bigger Zoo residents can easily grab your attention, we wanted to introduce you to some of our smaller species that call our Zoo home. From our spunky klipspringer family to our bachelor Marabou stork, Fezzik, there’s plenty of small but mighty members of our Africa loop who are visible on the left side of the platform. However, there’s one pair you might hear before you can spot them. 

Goose and Royal the West African black crowned cranes have been a Zoo couple for about two years, and they have quickly become a favorite among keepers.  

“Goose and Royal are a great pair of cranes. They are always together and are often seen dancing and displaying courtship behavior with one another,” said African platform area supervisor, Alyssa Simon.  

Royal, our female, has lived at the Zoo since 2017, but in 2022 Goose arrived as part of an SSP, or Species Survival Plan, recommendation. Since being introduced, both have begun to display appropriate nest building behaviors, and Royal began to lay her green-blue-colored eggs for the first time! When the time comes for them to officially become parents, we know these two will make great bird parents.  

These two are inseparable, but when they do go their own ways in the habitat, they often call out to each other to make sure the other is still close by. This game of hide and speak is often followed by loud vocalizations that guests can often hear from across the loop. When they do reunite after their noises, they’ll often head bob out of excitement, which can lead into a courtship dance.  

On a typical day, Goose and Royal can be seen exploring their habitat and digging into any enrichment they receive. They are fans of anything involving mealworms, super worms, crickets, or a new palm frond. This is a time their louder vocalizations will quiet down, and they will switch to an excited soft clucking noise.  

They also participate in daily training with Africa Keeper, Savannah. She’s currently working on scale training – which allows the team to obtain voluntary monthly weights for the birds – and building a good relationship with the pair.  

 On hot days especially, they love utilizing their river access to cool off, or they’ll hop into a large water tub provided by their animal care team.  

“They are very cute…Their personalities are evident once a little time and patience is taken to observe them doing their thing,” said Alyssa. 

Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.