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October 12 is a day for smashing pumpkins at the Detroit Zoo

Smashing Pumpkins - Giraffes - Jabari and Mpenzi - Jennie Miller

Halloween isn’t just for kids. The animals at the Detroit Zoo will have their own kid of trick or treating on October 12.

That’s when they’ll get their own pumpkins filled with tasty treats to eat, play with, roll around in, tear apart and, yes, smash. The zoo staff will also send in other seasonal munchies, including gourds, cornstalks and other fall harvest goodies.

Smashing Pumpkins - Gorilla - Pende 2 - Jennie Miller

All through the year, season-appropriate food items are hidden among the creature’s habitats or prepared for them to stimulate natural behaviors such as foraging or stalking. This keeps their captivity as normal to the wildlife as possible.

“Around Halloween, seasonal fare from local Michigan producers gives this activity a special appeal for both zoo visitors and the animals,” says Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society chief life sciences officer.

Smashing Pumpkins - Chimpanzee - Ajua - Jennie Miller

It would be a good day to visit the zoo. Here’s the schedule:

  • 10:30 a.m. – otters (treat-filled pumpkins)
  • 11 a.m. – great apes (pumpkins)
  • 11:30 a.m. – polar bears (treat-filled pumpkins)
  • Noon – bison (pumpkins and corn stalks)
  • 12:30 p.m. – grizzly bears (Halloween piñatas and corn stalks)
  • 1 p.m. – giraffes (treat-filled pumpkins and corn stalks)
  • 1:30 p.m. – vultures (treat-filled pumpkins and corn stalks)
  • 2 p.m. – lemurs (Halloween piñatas and pumpkins)
  • 2:30 p.m. – anteaters (treat-filled pumpkins)

– Photos by Jennie Miller, courtesy of the Detroit Zoo

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