Elephants play trick or treat

Animals investigate pumpkin gifts from keepers at Whipsnade Zoo

A herd of Endangered elephants are amongst the animals that have been sinking their teeth into petrifying pumpkins, ahead of a Halloween trail for half-term at Whipsnade Zoo.

Keepers at the conservation zoo carved huge pumpkins for the Zoo’s Asian elephants, who used all their senses to investigate, play with and munch on their mammoth, creepy treats.

The Zoo’s spirited group of squirrel monkeys also got in on the action, including a four-year-old male named Pumpkin. Keepers prepared eight small pumpkins for the bouncy beasts, each with the top cut off, so that the monkeys could have fun digging the tasty seeds out of the centre.

Zoological manager Matt Webb said: “Our inquisitive elephants and curious monkeys love to investigate and play with new things, so they were thrilled with their terrifying treats. Lucha, in particular, was determined to hoard her ‘trick-or-treat goodies,’ kicking her pile of smashed pumpkins away from the others so she didn’t have to share her feast!”

Elephants with pumpkins

Half-term is the last opportunity for visitors to experience the Zoo’s life-size animatronic dinosaur exhibit, Zoorassic Park, which closes on 31 October, and is free with Zoo entry. For its final week, it will include a brand new Halloween Trail, in which kids can compare their teeth to a T-Rex and learn all about the dinosaurs’ gruesome feeding habits.  

Fearless family adventurers can also discover the weird and wonderful ways animals feed and forage at Terrifying Talks all over the UK’s largest Zoo. 

Matt Webb continued: “Our animals are already enjoying all the fun of the autumn season, and we can’t wait to welcome our members and visitors during half-term to join in all the spooky fun and animal magic that Whipsnade Zoo has to offer.”

Half-term visitors can see the elephants and squirrel monkeys, alongside Whipsnade Zoo’s 9,500 animals and Zoorassic Park:

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