Cheetah, Cheetah, Pumpkin Eatah!

Ok, so cheetahs don’t actually eat pumpkins. (They are strict carnivores.) But the zookeepers at Busch Gardens provided some pumpkins for the cheetahs to investigate for some Halloween-themed fun.  New sights and smells provide enrichment to animals, keeping them engaged and stimulated.

Remember the cheetah cub Kasi and his puppy friend Mtani?  Here they are together all grown up!

Cheetah and yellow lab looking at pumpkins

Kasi joins Mtani to look at pumpkins.

Cheetah and yellow lab investigating pumpkins

Kasi and Mtani sniff the pumpkins.

Cheetahs investigating pumpkins

More cheetahs examining the pumpkins.

Help Big Cats While Trick-or-Treating

Leopard grooms cub

A mother leopard grooms her cub. You can help big cats like these with "Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats".

This Halloween, you can make the holiday extra special by helping big cats! National Geographic has organized a campaign called Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats, which encourages kids to collect donations for National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative as they trick-or-treat.

According to Alexander Moen, VP of Explorer Programs at the National Geographic Society, “The Big Cats Initiative is working with scientists and conservationists around the world to halt the decline of these iconic animals. By supporting their work, together we can ensure that future generations won’t talk about big cats the way we now talk about dinosaurs.”

Free Trick-or-Treat for Big Cats collection boxes are available at Pottery Barn Kids stores nationwide, participating schools, National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at causeanuproar.org, where people can request boxes sent directly to homes, schools, clubs and other community locations.

Everyone who participates is eligible to receive a thank-you gift, including magazine subscriptions, apparel and digital downloads (eligibility based on the amount of funds submitted by November 30, 2011). Detailed information on gifts and how to participate can be found at www.causeanuproar.org.

Halloween Costume Giveaway

Halloween costumes from HalloweenCostumes.com

Animal Fact Guide is giving away THREE Halloween costumes courtesy of HalloweenCostumes.com.  For a chance to win, simply comment below with your favorite animal fact by September 23. Be sure to include your email address so we may contact the winners for their mailing address and choice of costume.

Three lucky winners will have their choice of any costume available on HalloweenCostumes.com valued up to $50.

Note: This contest is open to people in the U.S. only.

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UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners, Amanda A., Rita M., and Nicole F.!

Zoo Animals Celebrate Halloween

At Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the animals from the Edge of Africa enjoyed special Jack-O’-Lanterns in the festive spirit of Halloween.  Inside each carved pumpkin was a unique treat depending on the animal’s diet.  Lions and hyenas were tempted by meat. Ring-tailed lemurs sought grapes, while meerkats were after mealworms. Hippos love fruit, but Kita enjoyed playing with the buoyant pumpkin for a few minutes before smashing it and eating it.

Watch the fun video below: