Powderham Castle has donated hundreds of pumpkins to the animals at Paignton Zoo.
The pumpkins were left over from the Powderham Pumpkin Growing competition and from pumpkin carving activities.
Clare Crawshaw, general manager at Powderham Castle, said: “It was a good year for pumpkin growing; we had lots of competition entries and grew masses of pumpkins on the Estate for carving. It is wonderful to know that the pumpkins will be going to a good home and will provide a lot of fun and interest for the many animals at Paignton Zoo.”
Environmental enrichment is the science of encouraging natural feeding and foraging behaviours, stimulating mental and physical activity and provoking curiosity among zoo animals using unusual objects and situations.
It can range from puzzle feeders and wind chimes to unusual scents and cardboard boxes with food hidden inside. Paignton Zoo Environmental Park has won awards for its enrichment work, hosting a regional conference on the subject in 2006 and a major international conference in 2009.
Philip Knowling, spokesperson for Paignton Zoo, told the Devon Week: “A lot of different animals will enjoy playing with the pumpkins – monkeys, meerkats, porcupines. Our African elephant Duchess will get the supersize ones. We are delighted to be working with another local attraction in Powderham Castle. It’s great to recycle surplus items – and it keeps the food miles down!”
(from a press release)
(image: Pumpkins at Paignton Zoo for environmental enrichment)