Got Pumpkins? We do! It’s that time of year again, when pumpkins and gourds take over the zoo’s landscape. They’re festive and provide the perfect backdrop for our annual Wild Zoo Halloween event, but our sea of squash is more than just décor. The pumpkins we stock also provide enrichment for the zoo’s animals.
Lemurs, red pandas, and pigs are among the many animals at the zoo who have “pumpkin playtime” on their enrichment calendars. Each animal approaches the Fall treat in a different way.
Lemurs lick honey and raisins off the outside of the pumpkins. (We can thank their zoo keepers for the five-star dinner presentation.) Red pandas forage inside pumpkins, but not for the seeds. Instead, zoo keepers fill the pandas’ pumpkins with their preferred diet of bamboo. The zoo’s pigs approach the filled pumpkins in a different way, treating each one like an “edible bowl”.
Animal enrichment is a daily event at the zoo with a variety of activities tailored to each animal’s needs. This time of year, pumpkins are aplenty and provide a seasonal twist for zoo animals.
Click on the photos to enlarge: