Zoobillee

Community

Wildlife Safari was full of ZOOmbies last month as the park celebrated Halloween! Each year Safari’s Zoobillee event is packed with fun activities, stalls and delicious Halloween themed food and this year was certainly no exception.

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The Haunted Hay ride took guests through the story of a witch who, with the help of her animal friends, grew and carved an incredible pumpkin. Throughout the ride, zoo zombies (ZOOmbies) wandered around in search of adventure.

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Face painting booths transformed visitors and staff from plain old humans to all sorts of animals, ghouls and goblins!

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With fresh face paint to liven up their costumes, and yummy treats in their bellies, guests settled down to watch the production of Dr Frankenstein and the Super Species Serum performed both by staff and animals!

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Holiday Enrichment

Behind the Scenes, Carnivores

On Halloween weekend keepers got into the holiday spirit by giving out pumpkins! Our tigers, bears and lions all got huge pumpkins to play with, each filled with fun things like popsicles, maple syrup and other yummy snacks. Many of our animals love playing with pumpkins – they can roll them, bite them, crack them open to get treats. The more exciting the enrichment the better, we love to see our animals playing and having fun.
‘Enrichment’ is what we call it when we give something exciting to our animals. Toys, fun foods, scents, boxes – anything that makes life interesting. Keepers tailor enrichment to each animal, considering how they would play with it or why they would find it interesting. Animals can play for hours with some enrichment, or curl up and sleep in it (mostly ferrets for that last one).

Lion cubs with their Halloween enrichment Photo courtesy of Taylor Sherrow

Lion cubs with their Halloween enrichment
Photo courtesy of Taylor Sherrow

Giving animals enrichment is an important part of keeping them healthy. It keeps them active physically with play, but also gives them mental stimulation. Animals get bored just like we do, and giving them something new or different everyday is a fun way to shake things up.

Safety is number one for keepers, for people and for animals, so we make sure the toys we give them are safe. No choking hazards, things that will make them sick, or things they could get stuck in.

Each animal has their favorite enrichment too. For example, our skunk loves things that smell, our tigers are big fans of elephant poop, and our cheetahs love exploring- so we move them regularly to other enclosures.

Brave adventurer: the first lion cub to investigate the pumpkins Photo courtesy of Taylor Sherrow

Brave adventurer: the first lion cub to investigate the pumpkins
Photo courtesy of Taylor Sherrow

It helps when keepers get to know our animals’ personalities. That way we can avoid giving them things they’re not interested in, or might be nervous around. Our Red Lored Amazon, for example, is scared of polka dots and the color pink… Now, we’re not sure that makes sense, but we respect his fears and his toys are always polka-dot-free!

Our pride of lions took some time to warm up to their pumpkins, but once one cub went to investigate, the others jumped in!

Safety in Numbers: the lions checking out their pumpkin enrichment Photo courtesy of Taylor Sherrow

Safety in Numbers: the lions checking out their pumpkin enrichment
Photo courtesy of Taylor Sherrow

Our Sumatran tigers particularly enjoyed their pumpkins, going straight to stalk-and-pounce mode.

Our Sumatran tiger, Riya, with her pumpkin. Photo courtesy of Taylor Sherrow

Our Sumatran tiger, Riya, with her pumpkin.
Photo courtesy of Taylor Sherrow

Zoobilee

Community

Wildlife Safari got into the spooky spirit this season with Zoobilee! Halloween Safari-style featured an animal show, face painting, crafts, delicious treats, and a haunted hay ride.

Zoobilee Lights

The Haunted Hay ride was a great hit for all ages, as guests took a ride around our cheetah drive-through section, past lit scenes of animal holiday preparation, following the story of a witch who has lost her cat. Complete with zombies in search of pumpkin guts, the ride was a great family event, and a great chance for our STEP Crew (a volunteer program for people with disabilities) to be involved with the event as our volunteer zombies!

Zoobillee costumes