You can see the video on TikTok here https://www.tiktok.com/@drusillaspark/video/7156917224576453894
An adorable video of zoo animals joining in a TikTok Halloween trend has become a viral sensation this week, receiving more than 9 million views in just a few days.
The trending ‘pumpkin head photoshoot challenge’ sees people cutting the bottom out of jack-o-lanterns and wearing them as masks set to Jack Stauber’s track ‘Oh Klahoma’. The trend was given an animal twist by the team at Drusillas Zoo Park in Sussex, who chose to feature servals, capybaras, monkeys, beavers, and goats.
With cameras at the ready, the Sussex Zoo team lined carved pumpkins with treats and scent enrichment and waited patiently for their animals to investigate, in hopes of creating a pumpkin head illusion. The final video has racked up more than 9 million views and 1.6 million likes, with thousands of comments from around the world, some claiming they ‘won’ the challenge.
One commenter wrote: “This is the winner. Everyone else can only try at this point”
Another commented: “Thank you for doing this! Such a cute video the best one I’ve seen yet”
And one said “Dear god this is the best thing I’ve ever seen”
The Zoo team were careful to execute the challenge without causing any stress to their animals, by removing the back portions of the pumpkins and letting the animals choose whether to engage or not. The activity formed part of the zoo’s daily enrichment programmes which offers their animals food in unusual and creative ways for additional
mental and physical stimulation – an element appreciated by the zoo’s animal-loving followers.
Zookeeper Claudia Farley commented “It’s really important for us to give our animals stimulation and enrichment every day, and many of them already have pumpkin as part of their natural diet. Each day we try to mix it up and provide a new form of enrichment for them, whether it’s scent enrichment using herbs and oils, puzzle equipment, or food presented in new ways like today. It might look like we’re just having fun, but it’s actually a really vital part of our job to continually offer new activities to keep their minds stimulated and encourage them to problem solve and engage in natural behaviours. In the wild food wouldn’t just be handed to them every day, so this is a great way to make them work for it.”
The pumpkin decorations will not go to waste, as the leftovers will be offered up to many of the Zoo’s 800 exotic animals once the celebrations are over, so they can enjoy a fa-boo-lous time too!
Located just off the A27 in Alfriston, Drusillas Park is open daily from 10am. For more information please telephone 01323 874100 or visit www.drusillas.co.uk