Detroit Zoo Animals Play 'Smashing Pumpkins'

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Animals at the Detroit Zoo are enjoying a rare treat this month.  Zoo employees have given each of them pumpkins to play with and the orange gourds are also filled with special treats for the animals to eat.
It's all a part of the zoo's annual "Smashing Pumpkins" event.  Staff members say the pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks provide environmental enrichment.

"So, it tends to bring out a lot of really natural behaviors in the animals," Detroit Zoo Animal Welfare Manager Elizabeth Arbaugh said.

Instead of candy, zoo employees placed healthly treats inside the pumpkins such as pasta.

"Some will eat them.  Some will push them around.  Some will stand on them.  Some will just smell them and run away from them and come back to play with them, "Arbaugh explained.

"Some of them kick them around," she continued. "Some of them, like our vultures, have been guarding them from the other vultures."

Arbaugh said the annual event was fun for both the animals and zoo visitors.

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