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Halloween’s not over till the keepers carve

It was a Halloween extravaganza once again this October. Boo at the Zoo presented by Georgia Natural Gas brought amazing costumes, yummy candy and enriching activities for guests and animals. But did you know that keepers get to have a little extra Halloween fun too? Zoo staff participated in our very own pumpkin carving contest again! Zoo Atlanta’s members of the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK) not only hosted a pumpkin carving contest, but a chili cook-off as well! It was perfect with the chilly weather we had this past weekend. On October 31, teams of Zoo staff once again put their creative carving to the test to win either “Most Animal Like” or “Best All Around” pumpkin.

The rules? We were given one pumpkin to carve and have our masterpiece completed in 30 minutes, and to eat as much chili as we want, all with very festive Halloween music! What always makes this quite the unusual pumpkin carving contest is that sometimes pumpkins won’t ever be carved! Teams can bring in more pumpkins and any other props we want to complete a “theme” each team has chosen, in secret of course, so no other teams steal all the great ideas floating around. This year the Program Animals Team came together to create a scarecrow pumpkin dressed as one of our very own keepers, where last year all we needed was a little paint and extra pumpkins to create a snowman. Last Halloween our Education Department had a team that won “Best All Around” with a pumpkin rendering of E.T.! Now that this year’s Halloween is in the books, I think it’s time we start working on another great pumpkin for 2018!
Emily Bobal
Keeper I, Program Animals

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