ASHEBORO – A third animal species has been added to the list of North Carolina Zoo animals that will be receiving pumpkins for Halloween this weekend.

The annual “Pachyderm Pumpkin Pounding” is set for Friday, Oct. 30, at 9:30 a.m. with elephants and gorillas receiving the large orange fruits as part of the zoo’s ongoing animal enrichment programs. But baboons will also be getting the Halloween treats the following day when zookeepers place pumpkins in the Baboon Exhibit adjacent to the African Pavilion at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 31.

According to keepers, the pumpkins provide both mental and physical stimulation for the animals, allowing them to manipulate the giant vegetables and experience their taste and smell.

The zoo is located on Zoo Parkway (N.C. 159) six miles southeast of Asheboro off U.S. 220 and U.S. 64. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for children 2-12 and $8 for seniors 62-and-over and college students. Operating hours through October are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.

The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Dee A. Freeman, Secretary; Beverly E. Perdue, Governor.