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Watch: London Zoo’s Halloween Pumpkin Extravaganza

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When people think of Halloween, they typically envision children going door-to-door, collecting mountains of candy on the 31st of October. These memories often stay with us forever; some even enjoy it more than Christmas.

Credit: ZSL London Zoo

At London Zoo, home to approximately 14,000 animals, zookeepers extended the festive spirit to their beloved residents, including Komodo dragons, Sumatran Tigers, camels, and elephants.

How Did They Do It?

From meat-filled pumpkins to an irresistible blend of cinnamon and nutmeg, the captivating scent of which drew the tigers toward a magnificent mound of colossal gourds, a plethora of inventive concepts have been meticulously crafted and put into action to entice and guide their animals toward these meticulously carved Halloween goods. 

Credit: ZSL London Zoo

The tireless efforts of dedicated zookeepers have resulted in a truly enchanting experience for the animals and the visitors who flock to witness this delightful spectacle.

Watch the Spectacle of Animals and Halloween Treats

YouTube video
Credit: Evening Standard/ZSL London Zoo

Elevating Animals’ Moods With Halloween Treats

Zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, and even pet owners have discovered the value of pumpkins as enrichment tools for animals. Large, hollowed-out pumpkins can be filled with various treats, turning them into puzzle toys. For some animals, the challenge of getting to the goodies hidden within the pumpkin offers mental stimulation and physical exercise. Smaller pumpkins can be used as playthings, with animals rolling them around, pawing at them, or even batting them with their paws.

Dietary Delights

In addition to being used as playthings, pumpkins can be a healthy addition to the diet of certain animals. They’re low in calories and provide essential nutrients, making them suitable for animals ranging from domestic pets like dogs and cats to more exotic species. For instance, pumpkin is known to be a favorite treat of some primates, and it can be used as a supplement to their regular diet.

Credit: ZSL London Zoo

Aromatherapy for Animals

The aromatic qualities of pumpkins can also attract animals. The earthy scent of pumpkins, especially when combined with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, can pique an animal’s curiosity and lead them to explore further. In some cases, this enticing scent can be strategically used to guide animals towards certain areas or objects, creating memorable and engaging experiences for the animals and onlookers.


Pumpkins are more than just a symbol of the Halloween season; they are a versatile tool for engaging, feeding, and entertaining many animals. Whether it’s a grizzly bear investigating a large pumpkin filled with treats or a domestic cat batting around a smaller one, pumpkins bring a touch of seasonal delight to the lives of our furry and feathered friends. The creative use of pumpkins demonstrates the innovative ways humans can enhance the lives of animals in their care and provide them with a taste of Halloween excitement.

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