At 9 am on Friday, 19 November, a giant pumpkin weighing 635.5 kilos and a circumference of 4.65 metres surprised the five sun bears. Brasserie Staverden donated the colossal pumpkin—awarded 'the most beautiful pumpkin of the Netherlands' at the Dutch Pumpkin Growing Championship—to the inquisitive omnivores at the Arnhem Zoo.
Gerjan Puttenstein from Wezep grew the gigantic pumpkin which was transported to Brasserie Staverden to grace its outdoor terrace for a few weeks. With the end of the pumpkin's life in sight, Katherine Haklander-Timmers from Brasserie Staverden contacted Burgers' Zoo to gift the animals the special addition to their menu as behavioural enrichment.
The sun bears are inquisitive omnivores. Their diet normally consists of insects, worms, fruits, honey and small animals. Sun bears are the smallest bear in the Ursidae family and are similar to a large rottweiler in size and colouring. The bears have strong claws, which are excellent for climbing and digging.
Despite their small size, sun bears are surprisingly strong. With just a slap of a front paw, they can easily push boulders an average adult man would struggle to lift, down a slope. Sun bears are very active and inquisitive and are fully expected to break open the giant fruit with their claws to feast on its soft contents. The sleuth of five bears consists of two adult sows and their adolescent offspring, one cub from one sow and two from the other.
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