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Milwaukee Zoo elephants have a good time with giant pumpkins


The three African elephants at the Milwaukee County Zoo had a blast with a seasonal treat in October: giant pumpkins.

The Milwaukee County Zoo posted footage from its annual “smash and squash” on its Facebook page on Oct. 26.

Pumpkins are given to elephants as part of an enrichment program, the zoo explained.

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Additional videos of the elephants show them stomping around and playing with other seasonal objects, including Christmas trees.

Other zoo animals, including lions, also received pumpkins for enrichment, the zoo said.

The three pumpkins weighed 347 pounds, 364 pounds, and 576 pounds, according to Storyful.

As for the three elephants at the zoo, they are called 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 details.

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Pumpkins are native to North America, Rosane Oliveira, a professor at the University of California, Davis, said in a 2018 article posted on the college’s website.

Pumpkins are thought to date back 9,000 years, she also told the site, and there are more than 45 varieties of pumpkins.

There are more than 45 individual varieties of pumpkins, according to one source.
(PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Every part of the pumpkin is edible, she says.

Elephants normally eat grasses, herbs, leaves, fruit, bark, vines, shrubs, the Milwaukee County Zoo website says – and their diet in the wild helps in done to improve their landscape.

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“As their herds move through the savannah, they feed on trees, breaking them, often tearing them out by the roots and crushing them,” the zoo said.

Milwaukee Zoo elephants have a good time with giant pumpkins

Elephants normally eat trees and prevent overgrowth in their habitats.
(Reuters)

“Without this deforestation, the savannah would quickly change from grassland to forest.”

The United States grows 80% of the world’s pumpkins – so it would be extremely unlikely that Brittany, Ruth and Belle would have encountered one if they were living in the wild.

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But it’s safe to say that “gourd weather” was had by all in October.


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