Memphis Zoo has smashing good time at first-ever Pumpkin Mash

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - There was a lot of smashing pumpkins at Memphis Zoo this weekend, and no, we're not talking about the band.

On Saturday, Nov. 4 the Zoo celebrated fall with their first Animal Pumpkin Mash.

More than 15 species of animals got to roll, kick, burrow, tunnel, and mash their way through pumpkins and other fall treats.

There were observation stations spread throughout the Zoo, letting visitors watch the behavior of the animals during enrichment time.

Zoo staff said they saw increased activity with a number of other animals, including those located in Cat Country.  The Zoo's two female lions, Akeelah and Jameela, pounced on pumpkins, effectively throwing them into the moat surrounding their exhibit. They then fished them out, and began the process again.

The grand finale was the Zoo's three female elephants, Ty, Gina, and Asali smashing more than a thousand pounds of pumpkins everywhere. Four giant pumpkins were donated, ranging in weight between 200 and 500 pounds.

Elephant keepers spread smaller pumpkins throughout the yard, as well. All three elephants smashed pumpkins with their feet, which resulted in a resounding "pop!" once they had crunched.

The animals that participated in the Pumpkin Mash included: lions, snow leopards, leopards, jaguars, pumas, black bears, meerkats, rhinos, red river hogs, warthogs, komodo dragons, Sulawesi macaques, pheasants, magpies, thrushes, orangutans, gorillas, mandrills, and elephants.

For additional photos from the event, check the Zoo's Facebook page Monday morning.

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