Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 4:33 pm | Fair 65º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara Zoo’s Elephants Feast on Pumpkins for Thanksgiving

Other animals will receive holiday treats on Thursday, with a schedule of keeper talks and other activities planned throughout the day

Sujatha and Little Mac got their favorite treats on Tuesday — pumpkins!

The Asian elephants at the Santa Barbara Zoo received these giant treats in advance of Thanksgiving Day, when the zoo is open and the two pachyderms and Western lowland gorillas, ground hornbills, barnyard animals, desert tortoises, meerkats, Asian small clawed otters and other zoo residents also receive pumpkins.

The zoo’s carnivores and some scavengers will receive a “Thanksgiving dinner” of raw, plucked turkeys or game hens. This includes African lions, snow leopards, Amur leopard, black-footed cats, plus Griffon and turkey vultures.

Keeper talks will be held at the animals’ exhibits. A schedule of these enrichment activities will be posted at the zoo entrance. The zoo will open at 10 a.m. and close at 3:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Tickets will be sold until 2 p.m.

The pumpkins were donated to the zoo by McGrath Family Farms in Ventura, Pete’s Pumpkin Patch in Camarillo and the Trader Joe’s on Milpas Street.

Food, scents and natural objects are used as enrichment to give the animals stimulation and exercise. Enrichment also comes in the form of training the animals to recognize that a certain behavior leads to a reward — most often in the form of food or fun. Training animals to go to a certain area in their exhibit, for example, may allow keepers to examine, administer medication or even weigh the animal.

Click here for more information about the zoo, including operating hours.

— Julia McHugh is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Zoo.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >