The three African elephants at the Milwaukee County Zoo had a smashing good time with a seasonal treat this October: giant pumpkins.
The Milwaukee County Zoo posted footage of its “annual smash and squash” on its Facebook page on Oct. 26.
The pumpkins are given to the elephants as part of an enrichment program, the zoo explained.
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Additional videos of the elephants show them stomping and playing with other seasonal items, including Christmas trees.
Other animals at the zoo, including lions, were also given pumpkins for enrichment purposes, the zoo made clear.
The three pumpkins were 347 lbs., 364 lbs., and 576 lbs., according to Storyful.
As for the zoo’s three elephants — they’re named Brittany, Ruth and Belle.
The Milwaukee County Zoo acquired Belle in 2019 from another zoo as part of an expansion of its elephant exhibit, the zoo’s website detailed.
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Pumpkins are native to North America, said Rosane Oliveira, a professor at the University of California, Davis, in a 2018 article published on the college’s website.
Pumpkins are believed to date back to 9,000 years ago, she also said on the site, and there are over 45 pumpkin varieties.
Every part of the pumpkin is edible, she said.
Elephants normally eat grasses, herbs, leaves, fruit, bark, vines, shrubs, said the Milwaukee County Zoo’s website — and their diets in the wild actually help improve their landscape.
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“As their herds move across the savanna, they feed on trees, breaking them up, often by pulling them up by the roots and crushing them,” said the zoo.
“Without this tree clearing, the savanna would quickly grow from grassland to woodland.”
The United States grows 80% of the world’s pumpkins — so it would be extremely unlikely for Brittany, Ruth, and Belle to have encountered one if they were living in the wild.
But it’s safe to say that a “gourd time” was had by all this October.
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