Oklahoma City Zoo hosts fall events, including annual ‘Chomp and Stomp,’ despite COVID-19


OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Pumpkins were the treat of the day Friday for the annual Chomp & Stomp at the Oklahoma City Zoo. 

โ€œWhen they start seeing those pumpkins come up, they do get very excited, and it is something that they donโ€™t get every year,โ€ said Kimberly Leser the behavioral and husbandry welfare manager at the OKC Zoo. 

The animals enjoyed one of the few days a year they get to snack on the orange fruit. 

“It gives us the opportunity to not only encourage natural behaviors from our animals but do it in a fun, festive way,” said Leser. 

The elephants are a crowd favorite. 

“They were like stomping on the pumpkins and eating them and rolling them into the water – it was really cute,” said 11-year-old Ameera. 

It’s not just the pumpkins either. 

Other animals like the chimps, get goodie bags filled with treats. 

“There was one monkey that grabbed all the buckets and all the bags, and it was funny,” said Ameera. 

“I bet they were thinking, ‘yes, finally, food!'” added 9-year-old Mazin.

Staff also set up for Haunt the Zoo. 

This year, the zoo is hosting it in the safest way possible by adding treat tubes. 

“They come up to the treat tube, the volunteers put the snacks in they come down, and there ya go!” said Candice Rennels with the zoo. 

They’re also limiting the number of guests allowed. 

“Everything is outdoors so you really do have ample room to spread out to social distance yourself from other guests in the park and just take your time and have a really good time with the event,” said Rennels. 

Even though masks cover up bright smiles, staff says hearing the kids enjoy the fall festivities, makes it all worthwhile. 

“Ten out of ten!” said Mazin. 

You can find more information on the Oklahoma City Zoo website.

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