A Frightful Feast for Animals at Drusillas Park
Monkeys, sloths and lemurs oh my! The animals at Drusillas Park in East Sussex have been enjoying some seasonal surprises, as keepers served them up a spook-tacular platter of pumpkins as part of their Halloween celebrations.
A large number of pumpkins were delivered to the Park for Shriek Week, which takes place during the half term until Sunday 3rd November. Any leftover pumpkins were snapped up by keepers and provided to the trick or treat troop as part of their daily enrichment programme.
The naturally curious lemurs were a little apprehensive to begin with; unsure what to make of the carefully carved jack-o’-lanterns that were placed into their enclosure. However, after a little observation the group established that the pumpkins weren’t going to launch an attack and were safe to approach.
Christopher Columbus had better hold onto his hat, because his exploration methods have got nothing on Drusillas’ lemurs. From athletic headstands, to jumping and diving inside the pumpkins, no part of these Halloween treats were left undiscovered.
Quite a frenzy ensued in the monkey and sloth enclosure as bits of pumpkin were thrown around, nibbled on, fought over and begrudgingly shared. One monkey even tried (unsuccessfully) to fit an entire pumpkin into his mouth…Curly the sloth showed a brief interest and poked around at the pumpkin for a bit before slowly heading back to bed.
Head Keeper, Sophie Leadbitter, said: “Delivering the animals’ meals in imaginative and unusual ways is part of the zoo’s daily enrichment programme. This ensures they receive a varied and diverse diet, as well as encouraging them to think and work for their food as they would in the wild.”
“Pumpkins make the ideal animal snack. They are a great source of potassium, Vitamin A and they are also high in fibre. However, due to their seasonal nature they are not often enjoyed by the residents of the zoo. The reaction from our animals was fantastic and they wolfed down their orange veggies – once they stopped playing with them that is!”