Curious meerkats mobbed a pumpkin placed in their exhibit by San Diego Zoo Safari Park keepers on Thursday. After pushing the top off, they slid in from above, poked their paws through the eyes and even slid out through the mouth of the jack-o-lantern.
Keepers provide novel items to keep animals mentally and physically stimulated throughout the year. Pumpkins arrive seasonally and provide an opportunity for the animals to explore something new or enjoy a once-yearly treat.
For some critters, like the meerkats, their favorite bug treats were hidden inside, while for other animals, like elephants, simply eating and playing with pumpkins is enrichment enough.