Press Release: 11/11/2016

Leftover Halloween Pumpkins Become Zoo Animals’ Delight

Erin Harrison

Oakland, CA…November 10, 2016 – Zookeepers headed out in trucks the morning of November 1st to pick up hundreds of leftover pumpkins from local Halloween pumpkin patches for Oakland Zoo’s animals to feast on. This annual happening becomes quite a treat for many animals at Oakland Zoo, due to the generous donations of Moore's Pumpkins in Castro Valley and Pick of the Patch Pumpkins in San Leandro every year.

“The pumpkin is amongst the favorite of treats for elephants,” said Gina Kinzley, Lead Elephant Keeper. “If they can't fit a whole pumpkin directly into their mouths, they puncture it with their tusks or stomp it open with their foot. Most of these pumpkins would otherwise we thrown out or tilled back into the land. The donations provide a fun and healthy food source for our animals at Oakland Zoo.”

Truckloads of large, medium, and mini pumpkins from local patches have been sorted and unloaded. Besides being added to many animal diets, zookeepers have creatively crafted the orange vegetables into enrichment items such as pumpkin kabobs, gourd bowls filled with meat treats, puzzle feeders, and even frozen delicacies. Zoo visitors are able to see animals feasting on the sweet treats daily now through the end of December.


The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state's remarkable native wildlife. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.