Pixel Tracker

Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 3:10 am | Mostly Cloudy 43º


Zoo Animals to Feast on Pumpkins for Thanksgiving

Holiday hours will include enrichment talks throughout the day

The elephants and many other residents of the Santa Barbara Zoo will be given pumpkins on Thanksgiving Day.

The zoo will be open from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday — a perfect outing for the family while the turkey is in the oven. Tickets will be sold until 2 p.m.

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.

A tentative schedule of pumpkin enrichment with keeper talks includes:

» 10:15 a.m.: Asian elephant
» 11 a.m.: African lion
» Noon: Gorilla
» 12:30 p.m.: Ground hornbill
» 1 p.m.: Turkey vulture
» 1:15 p.m.: Asian elephant
» 1:30 p.m.: Barnyard
» 1:45 p.m.: Desert tortoise
» 2 p.m.: Asian small-clawed otter

All talks are held at the animals’ exhibits. Other animals receive pumpkins throughout the day, but are not associated with a specific time or keeper talk.

— Julia McHugh is public relations director for 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 using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • 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 >