The Johannesburg Zoo, looking to improve its online presence, has devised a scheme that sees the resident honey badger making regular tweets via the ‘@zootweetslive’ Twitter handle. You can also keep track using the tag ‘#tweetingbadger’.
The badger responsible is named BG, and he’s being billed as “The world’s first live-tweeting badger”.
The system was developed by Hellocomputer, a digital agency part of Draftfcb. There are 6 sensor zones around BG’s enclosure, and when he enters the zones, a pre-composed tweet is picked from the agency’s database. The tweets are tailored to be relevant to his activity, such as a comment on the food he is eating, playing on the jungle-gym, or more casual observations about the other animals in the zoo (including the visitors). BG will also tweet about upcoming zoo events, and perhaps even dip into current affairs.
The system is regulated so that the highly active honey badger doesn’t become a Twitter spammer; however, all of BG’s movements will be logged and made available to the zoo research team.
The success of the project means that in future, more creatures could become “spokes-animals” for their species, raising awareness on conservation issues (among the more banal tweets about day-to-day animal life).