Just as humans get excited for a full plate of food- so do animals. Some of the Zoo’s animals were recently given their own Thanksgiving feast, thanks to the creativity of zookeepers.
HeroRATs- mini feast, tiny food
The HeroRATs received a festive meal, including pumpkin pie! Staff Biologist Jessie Sutherland and Zoological Aid Natalie Lind prepared the perfect sized portions for the tiny heroes. The pumpkin pie was made from pumpkin filling, the crust was peanut butter and rice flour, the stuffing was bread, the salad was lettuce with yogurt for the dressing, the turkey and crescent rolls were an almond paste, and the “wine” was watered down prickly pear honey. The rats seemed to love every bite!
Blizzard’s Thanksgiving feast included delicious sauce made from fish, peanut butter and polar bear chow. The sauce used to write “Beary Thankful” is made from black berries mixed with fileted herring. Yum!
Blizzard’s daily diet includes fresh fish and ground meat. He eats about 5.5lbs of food every day in winter, but will eat up to 21lbs in the summer!
The three sea otters indulged in some frozen ice treats in the shape of a pumpkin, filled with frozen fish juice, clam and crab. They eat quite a bit each day- the combination of swimming in cold water and being so active means they need a lot of calories. Each otter eats five times a day, receives half a crab daily and every night they get a scatter feed to share: 9lbs of clams, crabs and muscles in the shell.
Watch the video below to see some of the animals enjoying their Thanksgiving feasts, including the Arctic fox and puffins!
Enrichments are a vital part of animal care at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Enrichments give both mental and physical stimulation and encourage natural behaviors that are good for any animal.