Fall is the time when zoos across the country, including the Akron Zoo, decorate and prepare for Halloween events. And this isn’t just for guests; the animals get in on the fun too! Pumpkins provide wonderful, enriching opportunities for animals to engage in a variety of species-specific behaviors. For animals like our Galapagos tortoises and capybara, a pumpkin is a bright and tasty treat that they don’t get very often. For our snow leopards, lions and red pandas, pumpkins are a wobbly and textured toy to bat around the habitat. Natural behaviors such as pouncing, jumping, and rolling are all regularly observed in the presence of pumpkins! And while no pumpkin is a match for a grizzly bear, the bears enjoy rolling, squishing, and digging out the insides of the pumpkins. And of course they’ll eat some of it too.
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