October 25, 2018 / 2:55 PM / 20 days ago

Pumpkin party - Halloween comes early at London Zoo

LONDON (Reuters) - Halloween came early at London Zoo on Thursday as its giraffes, squirrel monkeys and gorillas enjoyed some special treats in carved-out pumpkins.

With days to go until the Oct. 31 celebration when children knock on their neighbours’ doors asking “Trick or Treat?”, keepers at the London park got into the spooky spirit by preparing fiendish surprises for the animals.

Giraffes Maggie, Mollie and Ellie found leaves in cut-out pumpkins for their breakfast, while the zoo’s Bolivian black-capped squirrel monkeys played with small pumpkins dangling from a rope.

Nearby Western-lowland gorillas woke up to and inspected a display of carved out pumpkins, including one depicting the face of U.S. President Donald Trump.

“A standard tradition is to let the animals enjoy a bit of Halloween,” Daniel Simmonds, head of primates at London Zoo, said.

“The gorillas have got pumpkins to enjoy. Now, obviously (they are) not part of that standard (gorilla) diet so the pumpkins are actually hollowed out and we put some much healthier treats inside ... encouraging them to go over and have a look.”

Reporting By Holta Celmeta; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian

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