It’s that time of year again when the animals at Seneca Park Zoo are enriched with lots of pumpkins!
Enrichment can be anything that encourages the animals to exhibit their natural behaviors, in order to enhance overall well-being. Depending on the species, some of these natural behaviors include foraging, hunting, problem solving and playing. Animal care staff is constantly thinking of new ways to engage the animals and encourage species-appropriate behaviors.
Elephants, lions, baboons, goats, and the polar bear are among the many animals that are given pumpkins as enrichment. Each animal approaches the fall treat in a different way.
Our four African Elephants love to eat pumpkins! Big or small, they are one of their favorite treats.
The lions, tigers, and polar bear like to push the pumpkins around and play with them. Keepers also hide food items like meat and fish inside the pumpkins for the carnivores.
The baboons enjoy foraging for pumpkin seeds and the goats like to snack on the seasonal Indian corn.
This time of year pumpkins are plentiful and provide a seasonal twist for Zoo animals. Come check out ZooBoo, Seneca Park Zoo’s annual Halloween fundraising event, and experience pumpkin enrichment for yourself!
–Sue Rea, Zoologist & Jenna Bovee, Zoologist