The day after Halloween, zookeepers headed out to gather hundreds of leftover pumpkins for what's become an annual feast for Oakland Zoo animals.
Truckloads of the orange gourds from pumpkin patches were sorted and unloaded, zoo officials said.
Besides being added to the animals' diet, zookeepers have also created pumpkin kabobs, gourd bowls filled with meat treats, puzzle feeders and even frozen delicacies.
Pumpkins are a favorite treat for elephants, Gina Kinzley, lead elephant keeper, said.
[BAY DSJ] Oakland Zoo Animals Feast on Leftover Halloween Pumpkins
"If they can't fit a whole pumpkin directly into their mouths, they puncture it with their tusks or stomp it open with their foot."
Most pumpkins would otherwise end up in the landfill or compost bin, zoo officials said.
"Most Halloween pumpkins - 1.3 billion pounds in fact - end up in the landfill where they generate greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming," Amy Gotliffe, director of conservation at Oakland Zoo, said.
Most of the pumpkins were donated by Moore's Pumpkins in Castro Valley, Fuji Melon and Monterey Market, zoo officials said.