Monday, November 23, 2009

Feast with the Beast training

You can see that Zuri is working out with her ball as she trains for her first Thanksgiving Feast with the Beast this Thursday morning. It's true, Zuri will have her first chance to play with a 700 pound pumpkin. Certainly not to be missed! Feast with the Beast is November 28 from 9 to noon, Zoo hours are from 9 to 4, and we can give you a little hint to get to Elephant Encounter to see Zuri and her pumpkin before 10 am.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Sorry everyone, the last post on Zuri's weight was incorrect. We accidentally typed 342 pounds instead of 442 pounds. A slip of the finger, and we very much apologize for that. It has been corrected, and Zuri has not lost any weight!

Thanks for letting us know!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Today's weigh-in

Zuri continues to steadily grow and weighs in today at 442 pounds. In talking with her keepers, she didn't seem to much mind the snow flurries that fell on Saturday afternoon. In fact, there wasn't enough to accumulate within her yard at Elephant Encounter, so she just hung out on her heated paddock and waited for the sunshine to come back out!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Little Pumpkin

The term "little" is used a bit loosely in the title because Zuri is getting bigger each day! Just this morning, the elephant team revealed that Zuri is at 410 pounds, yet still as active as ever.

Fall is a fun time because there is such an abundance of fresh pumpkin for the elephants. Zuri recently discovered this crazy gourd and has even figured out she can eat. Hogle Zoo elephant keeper Eric Peterson says, "She mostly sticks her head down into the pumpkin, but she has been picking pieces up with her trunk to see what it tastes like." Who says kids can't play with their food?

Each year on Thanksgiving, Hogle Zoo hosts a special event called "Feast with the Beast" where animals get feedings of different foods, and even some get turkey-shaped pinatas filled with tasty treats. This "something special" is called enrichment in the zoo world, and is a great way to keep the animals mentally healthy. A couple of years ago, the elephants started smashing 1,000 pound pumpkins as part of this festive time. The fun continues this year now that Zuri is part of the Hogle Zoo family, and there will be plenty of pumpkins for the elephants to kick and stomp at Elephant Encounter.