Smashing treats for elephants as we celebrate Pumpkin Fest!
Pumpkin treats have been given to elephants, giant tortoises, rhino and tapirs to squash, chomp and chew.
We have been inspired by one of Somerset’s giant pumpkin growers to grow more pumpkins than first thought earlier in the year. With several potential champion squashes ready to take on the grower’s huge pumpkins.
Despite their best efforts, the zoo’s biggest pumpkins were still no match for Luke Downs’ monster pumpkins but it was the African elephants, Shaka and Janu who got to have the final say.
“It's well worth it, it's a happy moment and real privilege to see them be enjoyed by these majestic animals.“ said Giant Pumpkin grower, Luke Downs.
After a short inspection, both elephants crushed the pumpkins and converted them into bitesize meals.
"Pumpkins are a special yearly treat for the animals. They do recognise the surprise and they really don’t last long with them! It’s always fantastic to see what the elephants think of the pumpkins and to hear the very satisfying ‘crunch’ sound they make when squashed.” said Connor Dennis, Elephant Keeper at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.
The squashes are a rare treat for many animals at the zoo. The giant tortoises are a species that absolutely adores chomping away at the zoo-grown gourds.The zoo is also home to white rhinos and tapirs who equally love a special autumnal treat. Rhinos are known to squish pumpkins with their horn and tapirs to bite them open and enjoy the insides.
Noah’s Ark plans to keep growing even more pumpkins for next year with Luke Downs laying down the gauntlet for the biggest pumpkin. When asked what his secret was, Luke replied “plenty of dung and water will do the job just right.” Luckily the zoo has plenty of it!
Orange is a familiar colour at the zoo whilst it’s autumnal event Pumpkin Fest continues until 31st October. Featured within the 100 acres of Somerset countryside, Noah’s Ark have a ‘pick your own pumpkin’ patch populated with pumpkins planted and grown on site using Elephant poo.
Guests are still able to grab a wheelbarrow and enjoy the pumpkin patch, fabulous pumpkin themed treats, an Autumnal Top Trumps trail and special Bug talks where guests can discover more about their favourite little critters.