Gargantuan treat for the girls!

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When you’re a 3400lb Asian elephant and want to get in on the Halloween celebrations even the biggest of store bought pumpkins just won’t cut it!

So when a professional pumpkin carver, who is renowned for producing gargantuan specimens, offers you a 530lb treat…’s like all your Halloweens have come at once!

This is exactly what happened when Simon McMinnis offered us a surplus super sized pumpkin for the zoo’s five elephants.

The logistics of getting the mammoth treat from Simon’s home in Poulton to the zoo’s Project Elephant Base Camp weren’t quite as complicated as transporting elephants Minbu, Tara, Noorjahan and Esha from their previous home at Twycross Zoo to join resident elephant Kate this year, but it was still a challenge!

It took five people to carry it from its poly-tunnel home to the waiting van….where it was strapped in for its safety and comfort!

Specialist equipment was waiting to move it into position here at the Zoo and the elephants made light work of demolishing and devouring it in front of delighted visitors on Sunday!

Della Belk, PR and Marketing Manager at Blackpool Zoo, was part of the crack team of pumpkin transporters and said: “Simon is a good friend of the zoo and has created some amazing pumpkin sculptures of our animals over the years.

“This year has been a bumper year for pumpkins in general so when Simon was left with a surplus 530lb specimen he very kindly offered it to us for our elephants.

“Thankfully the collection went without a hitch and the elephants were delighted with their super-sized treat!

“I would like to thank Simon for his ongoing support of Blackpool Zoo.”

Simon, whose stunning carvings have drawn attention from all over the world for a decade, added: “This year’s fantastic weather was perfect for growing and as a result I was left with somewhat of a giant glut!

“I knew the zoo had had four new massive arrivals this year so I got in touch to see if they would like a not so little treat for Halloween!       

“It was great to hear that they enjoyed it and I am looking forward to going to visit them all soon.”

Blackpool Zoo has enjoyed a spooktacular half term with daily pumpkin carving taking place until Halloween.