As part of the Park’s Spooky Spectacular event, over a thousand pumpkins were ordered to decorate the walk-through areas. Any surplus pumpkins are donated to the Park’s animals, for keepers to use as enrichment.

Keepers hollow out the pumpkins for most of the animals, then hide tasty treats inside, such as insects for the meerkats, leafed branches for the giraffes and meat for the tigers.

Doing this acts as a form of seasonal enrichment, allowing animals to exhibit natural behaviours, such as foraging, burrowing and in the case of the tigers, stalking!

Head Keeper of Carnivores, Chris Hodgkins, said,It’s great to see so many different species of animal enjoy the pumpkins at West Midland Safari Park. Every year, the Park’s Events team orders in thousands of pumpkins and to ensure any surplus aren’t wasted, keepers give them to the various animals in their care. It’s nice to be able to offer them something that’s a little different and fits in with the time of the year!

“Pumpkins are great because they have a distinctive smell, can be hollowed out to fill with treats and some of our animals love the taste of it. We love to see the animals playing and exhibiting natural behaviours, foraging for the treats inside, but it’s also nice to see them rolling a pumpkin around and ultimately destroying it! Our sixteen-year-old female Sumatran tiger, Hujan, even stalked the pumpkins, before pouncing on them. Let’s hope Patch, our very own pumpkin-headed mascot, doesn’t hear what the tigers are up to!”

For some of the Park’s newest arrivals, such as meerkat pups, Kovu, Kenai and Kyra, the strange orange gourds were completely new, but this didn’t phase them and as soon as they found the treats inside, keepers found it difficult to get them out!

The giraffes, a little more cautious by nature, approached the pumpkins tentatively, but were soon seen munching on the ‘hair’ sprouting out the top.

After Halloween, keepers will continue to use the pumpkins from the displays and eagle-eyed visitors may be able to spot them in the animal habitats.

During Spooky Spectacular, guests can take part in a trail to win a tasty treat, enter a competition to win a Safari Lodges stay, watch Patch the pumpkin-headed scarecrow in his magic show and meet some of his spooky pals too.

The Park has also extended its opening hours, opening at the earlier time of 9:30am and closing at 7:00pm, allowing guests to enjoy the rides and see the dinosaurs in the dark.

This will be the last chance guests get to enjoy the rides, before the Adventure Theme Park closes for winter after 30 October – the final day of Spooky Spectacular.

Spooky Spectacular is included in the standard admission charge of £25.00 for adults and children aged 3-64 and £22.00 for concessions. Children under the age of three are free. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra. 

Admission includes a Free Return Code to visit again on selected dates, within six months, only when booking online in advance, without a Tesco voucher. 

Further information about West Midland Safari Park is available from the Park’s website or by telephone 01299 402114. Find out more on the Safari Park’s official Facebook page:  


West Midland Safari Park
Safari Park
West Midland Safari Park

West Midland Safari Park is an award-winning visitor attraction, located in Worcestershire in the heart of England. It is home to a variety of all-weather attractions, including four miles of drive-through safari, the largest animatronic dinosaur exhibit in the UK and a theme park. With acres of versatile outdoor space, easy access from the M5 and free parking, WMSP is the perfect venue.



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