Oakland Zoo Animals Thankful for Pumpkin Leftovers

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Thousands of donated pumpkins turn into treats for Oakland Zoo’s animals.

Sun Bear eating pumpkin

“The pumpkin is amongst the favorite of treats for elephants,” said Gina Kinzley, Lead Elephant Keeper.

Thousands of donated pumpkins turn into treats for Oakland Zoo’s animals. Truckloads of large, medium, and mini pumpkins from local patches have been sorted and unloaded. Besides being added to many animal diets, zookeepers have creatively crafted the orange vegetables into enrichment items such as pumpkin kabobs, gourd bowls filled with meat treats, puzzle feeders, and even frozen delicacies. “The pumpkin is amongst the favorite of treats for elephants,” said Gina Kinzley, Lead Elephant Keeper. “Not only used for chopping up into small bits to spread, the pumpkins are also fed out whole, frozen, and on kabobs for the elephants to discover in their habitat. If they can't fit a pumpkin directly into their mouth, they puncture it with their tusks or stomp it open with their foot. Most of these pumpkins would otherwise we thrown out or tilled back into the land. The donations provide a fun and healthy food source for our animals at Oakland Zoo.” Zoo visitors are able to see animals feasting on the sweet treats daily throughout the months of November and December.

Media Advisory: On Tuesday, November 25 from 11:00am – 12:30pm, video and photo opportunities of animals feasting on pumpkins will be available. Please contact Nicky Mora at (510) 632-9525, ext 130 if you plan on attending.

  •     11:00am: Sun Bears     
  •     11:30pm: Baboons    
  •     11:45pm: Meerkats
  •     12:15pm: Elephants

Oakland Zoo would like to thank Moore’s Pumpkin Patch and Pick of the Patch Pumpkins. Zookeepers and animals are thankful for the generous donations. The animals will be able to enjoy the pumpkin treats for many months to come.    

ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO:
The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at http://www.oaklandzoo.org.

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Contact: Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130
nmora(at)oaklandzoo(dot)org

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Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
Oakland Zoo
+1 (510) 632-9525 Ext: 130
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Oakland Zoo
since: 12/2009
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