Press Release: 11/24/2014

Oakland Zoo Animals Thankful for Pumpkin Leftovers

Nicky Mora, Senior Manager, Marketing/PR
(510) 632-9525 ext. 130

Oakland, CA, November 25, 2014…thousands of donated pumpkins turn into treats for Oakland Zoo’s animals. 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. “The pumpkin is amongst the favorite of treats for elephants,” said Gina Kinzley, Lead Elephant Keeper. “Not only used for chopping up into small bits to spread, the pumpkins are also fed out whole, frozen, and on kabobs for the elephants to discover in their habitat. If they can't fit a pumpkin directly into their mouth, they puncture it with their tusks or stomp it open with their foot. Most of these pumpkins would otherwise be thrown out or tilled back into the land. The donations provide a fun and healthy food source for our animals at Oakland Zoo.” Zoo visitors are able to see animals feasting on the sweet treats daily throughout the months of November and December.

Oakland Zoo would like to thank Moore’s Pumpkin Patch and Pick of the Patch Pumpkins. Zookeepers and animals are thankful for the generous donations. The animals will be able to enjoy the pumpkin treats for many months to come.


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 wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide. 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.