Capybaras, servals, monkeys, sloths, otters, and goats were among the lucky animals treated to seasonal snacks this week in the form of Jack-o-lanterns – with brilliant photo results.
Drusillas Zoo Park near Alfriston offered pumpkins up to some of their animal residents as part of the Zoo’s daily enrichment program – and decided to have a little Halloween fun at the same time.
Keepers hung the carved fruits – lined with the animals’ favorite snacks and treats – in position and patiently waited to see if the animals would line themselves up to create a ‘pumpkin head’ illusion – a creative way of offering the animals additional mental and physical stimulation for the day.
The animals were left to investigate the pumpkins themselves, and a team with cameras sat patiently waiting for the shot to line up.
Zookeeper Claudia Farley commented “It’s really important for us to give our animals stimulation and enrichment every day, and many of them already have pumpkin as part of their natural diet.
Each day we try to mix it up and provide a new form of enrichment for them, whether it’s scent enrichment using herbs and oils, puzzle equipment, or food presented in new ways like today.
It might look like we’re just having fun, but it’s actually a really vital part of our job to continually offer new activities to keep their minds stimulated and encourage them to problem-solve and engage in natural behaviors.
In the wild food wouldn’t just be handed to them every day, so this is a great way to make them work for it.”