NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – One of the animals featured in the Nashville Zoo’s “Wild Works Animal Show” has quite the personality. Meet Petri, a Green Aracari toucan species from the rain forests in Central and South America.
You can meet Petri and all his other animal friends at Nashville Zoo’s “Wild Works Animal Show” which will run every day from March 11th through October, twice a day at 1 pm and 2 pm.
While we were there we got a demonstration of one of the things Petri is training to do which is hopping from arm to arm of zoo visitors that will be lined up at the show.
Petri also has quite a personality. Jake Belair, Nashville Zoo Lead Ambassador Animal Keeper said that most days he is happy to entertain visitors, but occasionally he makes a sound that indicates he is not in the mood.
Petri “talks” to Belair by making certain sounds. When we were there he was making a happy sound which was a clicking noise that sounded like a form of purring.
“If he makes a deeper like ‘eh-eh-eh’, that’s a no-no noise,” Belair explained, “and we respect his choices just like we respect our human co-workers, as well. So, if he’s having an off day, he just gets to chill. They communicate like that with other members of their flock, and the people they work with as well. So, he’s really a communitive bird, which is really helpful,” said Belair.
If you attend the Wild Works Animal Show, you get a close-up look at Petri and the other animals.
“Our shows have a heavy focus on connecting people with wildlife and showing off natural behaviors that the animals do,” Belair said. “So, we trained Petri to hop on cue, we’ll train some of our cats to jump on cue or run around. There are lots of birds flying past. So, we really focus on making sure that people have those up-close connections to animals.”
Be sure to head over to the Nashville Zoo to check out the tricks Petri and his friends have learned thus far!