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Animals get into the spirit of Halloween at Bristol Zoo - Oct 2012

Rocky the raccoon at Bristol Zoo with Halloween pumpkinThe animals at Bristol Zoo Gardens have been given their own carved pumpkins as a special Halloween treat.

The Zoo’s family of seals and our presentation animals Rocky the raccoon and Trevor & Colin the red ruffed lemurs had carved pumpkins to eat and play with as pumpkins are a great source of vitamins for the animals, as well as being the perfect enrichment toy.

Mathew Richards, senior presenter at Bristol Zoo, said: “Carved pumpkins are a great enrichment toy for the animals – both the racoons and the lemurs like to play with and eat them and the succulent flesh and plump seeds are a great addition to the animals’ regular diets as it is high in vitamins A, C, potassium, protein and fibre. For the seals we put fish around the pumpkins to help stir their curiosity.”

It’s not only the animals who can get into the spooky spirit at Bristol Zoo this autumn. The Zoo’s popular Halloween festival returns for half term this week, until Wednesday October 31, with pumpkin carving competitions, creepy costume contests, scary face painting and a Halloween trail around the grounds.

Lemur with Halloween pumpkin at Bristol ZooThere will be the popular fancy dress competition, with prizes for the best spooky fancy dress, as well as a pumpkin carving competition on Wednesday October 31. Visitors who carve or decorate a pumpkin and take it along to the Zoo on Wednesday October 31 before 12pm can get discounted entry at just £5.00 for one child with a full-paying adult.

This winter Bristol Zoo will also be holding its popular Family Friendly Fireworks Nights on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3. Now in its fifth year, guests will be entertained by an enchanting display of low-noise fireworks that will light up the night sky.

Doors open for the Zoo’s Family Friendly Fireworks Nights at 4:30pm, with the display at 5:30pm. Tickets are limited so advanced booking is essential. Tickets cost £6 adults, £4.50 children and £18 for a family. Discounts are available for Zoo members and groups. To buy tickets for Family Friendly Fireworks Night visit the Zoo’s website at or phone 0117 974 7300.


For more information contact Bristol Zoo Press Office:

Catherine Phillips, T: 0117 974 7306, E:

Hannah Worrall, T: 0117 974 7309, E:

 Notes to the Editor:

 Bristol Zoo Gardens

  • Bristol Zoo is open from 9am every day except Christmas Day. 
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on income from visitors and supporters to continue its important work. 
  • In 2011 Bristol Zoo celebrates its 175th anniversary.
  • Over that past 175 years, the Zoo has brought six generations of Bristolians closer to wildlife, helped save over 175 species from extinction, established over 30 field conservation and research programmes   all over the world, showed 40 millionschool aged children the wonder of nature and given more than 90 million visitors a wonderful day out.
  • Bristol Zoo is involved with more than 100 co-ordinated breeding programmes for threatened wildlife species. 
  • Itemploys over 150 full and part-time staff to care for the animals and run a successful visitor attraction to support its conservation and education work. 
  • Bristol Zoo supports – through finance and skill sharing - 15 projects in the UK and abroad that conserveand protectsome of the world’s most endangered species.
  • In 2010 Bristol Zoo Gardens set up a Conservation Fund to raise vital funds to help care for threatened animals and plants – both in the Zoo and through the conservation work we do in the UK and around the world.
  • Bristol Zoo Gardens is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. BIAZA represents more than 90 member collections and promotes the values of good zoos and aquariums.