Taronga Zoo’s elephants had a breakfast special on Friday – a record-sized 728kg pumpkin.
The magical pumpkins on display at this year’s show were cleverly recycled by catering to the Asian Elephants at the famous Sydney Zoo.
The award-winning pumpkins – including a 728kg monster which was the biggest ever to appear at the Sydney Royal Easter Show – were presented to the elephants.
Taronga’s herd of Asian elephants, including the 3300kg Pak Boon and calves Pathi Harn and Tukta, quickly swooped down on the record pumpkin.
‘We are always looking for new foods and nourishing items to challenge and excite our extraordinary animals.
Adult elephants were no strangers to pumpkins, but keepers were keen to see what they would create from the oversized variety.
“Elephants have many remarkable skills and environmental enrichment is a great way to encourage these skills and spark their natural curiosity,” said Elephant Keeper Steve Westnedge.
Taronga’s elephants are served a variety of foods, especially enjoying the fiber palm logs and tough pineapple plant tops. They can eat from 60kg to 100kg in a day.
Steve said: “When we saw the giant pumpkin on the news, we thought it was an exciting opportunity to bring a taste of Easter Show to Taronga and provide a nutritious and challenging treat to the most giant animals of the Zoo.
The record holder took great pride in placing at the Great Backyard Pumpkin Challenge in the Flower and Garden Pavilion at the Show, among 50,000 other pieces of fruit and vegetables.
The pumpkins would regularly be recycled into green waste after the show, but the organizers were happy to see them being served to some mammoth diners.
This year, grower Dale Oliver produced the largest pumpkin ever seen in Australasia.