You Had Me at Jello

Are you someone who absolutely hates being watched while you’re eating? Well, we present to you Abe. Abe is the Zoo’s more than 27-year-old Bald eagle, who arrived at the Zoo in 1992 after being rehabilitated for a broken wing that prevents him from being released back into the wild. Abe is this month’s recipient for Animeals, a special meal prepared by Chef Yohn that not only includes the animal’s daily diet, but presents the food in a special way that piques the animal’s curiosity and encourages it to work for the food, as its counterparts in the wild would.

Abe was presented with his Animeals today in honor of Save the Eagle Day, but was very shy and didn’t want to eat with an audience around, especially the paparazzi! We’ll check back in after explaining the Animeals recipe to see if he had the chance to enjoy his meal. For this recipe, Chef Yohn only needed a few simple ingredients, but had to give himself a little extra time to let it set in the fridge before serving. His inspiration for this Animeals was fish jumping out of the Chesapeake Bay!

you had me at jello


• 6 packets unflavored gelatine

• 6 cups water

• blue and green food coloring

• 2 whole Norfolk spot fish


Step 1: Bring the water to boil in a pot.

Step 2: Whisk in food coloring until you reach the desired shade of blue; Chef Yohn went for a nice, deep blue color.

Step 3: Add one packet of gelatin at a time to the water and stir constantly until all gelatin is mixed in.

Step 4: Remove the mixture from the heat and pour into a container to cool.

Step 5: Place the fish in the liquid.

Step 6: Place the container in the refrigerator to cool for at least three hours.

Step 7: Serve to Abe!

Abe was reluctant to approach the Animeals at first and decided to watch from afar instead.

He decided to inspect more closely until he realized he was being watched, so he walked away.

Abe ultimately did eat one of his fish in private! Here’s the proof:

Only one fish is left and Abe sits proudly above what’s left of his Animeals. Even though we didn’t exactly witness him chowing down, we’ll still say this one was a success. Join us next month for a special Valentine’s Day Animeals!