African American Military History Museum Hattiesburg Zoo Hattiesburg Saenger

Thanksgiving Enrichment Day

By: Sam Nowicki, Animal Keeper
published Sun November 25, 2012 Thanksgiving Enrichment Day

On Saturday, November 24th, our enrichment coordinator Chelsea Weaver provided a fun program of Thanksgiving-themed toys and food for our animals to enjoy! The public was able to watch everyone with their special items throughout the day – the jaguar and servals tore into turkeys made out of pumpkin, feathers, and cardboard; the DeBrazza monkey explored a cornucopia box filled with cranberries and treats; the howler monkeys ate a specially made pumpkin pie (not like the kind your mother makes or you would buy at the store, we have to make sure everything is natural and healthy for the animals to eat so our pie contained canned pumpkin pie filling and a flour paste crust); and the tiger had a blast tackling a huge cardboard box of a painted turkey on it. Even our newest additions, the lion-tailed macaques, were given hollowed pumpkins with food inside which they ate excitedly. Although the animals don’t know our rich American history or the symbolism behind this holiday, we can include them as part of our family by keeping them happy with new exciting things to do and delicious food. After all, isn’t that what Thanksgiving is about?