Smashing Treats for Elephants in the Forest Plantation

Smashing treats for elephants in U.K first willow field.


Pumpkin treats have been given to Shaka, the 31 year old African elephant, to squash, chomp and chew at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm.

Shaka, the bull African Elephant , was treated to huge gourds in the elephant’s home-grown forest plantation. The 5,000sqm plantation, which is part of their 20-acre enclosure, is home to willow, aspen, and poplar as well as other delicious elephant-friendly trees. This plantation within the elephant enclosure is the first of its kind in the UK.

“Pumpkins make great seasonal enrichment for our bull elephants here at Noah’s Ark. We give the elephants a range of enrichment items from seasonal produce to recycled barrels filled with their favourite treats.” Said Tom Rutherford, Elephant Keeper.

At Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, just 6 miles from Bristol, we grow many pumpkins, squashes, and seasonal produce on site. The homegrown squashes are a seasonal treat for many animals at the zoo. Many of the animals receive seasonal produce as part of their diet throughout the year with pumpkins being a firm autumnal favourite. However, these jumbo-sized squashes were grown by local farmer Luke Downs. For a third consecutive year Luke grew two monster sized pumpkins which were very quickly crushed by Shaka, one of the two bull elephants Noah’s Ark cares for.

“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.

Orange is a familiar colour at the zoo with our annual autumnal event ‘Pumpkinfest’. We have a ‘pick your own pumpkin’ patch populated with pumpkins planted and grown on site using elephant poo.

Guests are still able to get involved in Pumpkinfest until 7th November 2022. Activities include enjoying the wheelchair accessible pumpkin patch, fabulous pumpkin themed treats, twice daily birds of prey displays, an Owls of the World trail and special bug talks where guests can discover more about their favourite little critters.

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