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London Zoo celebrates Halloween early
The critically-endangered Sumatran tigers followed a trail to their snacks.
Animals at the zoo enjoyed pumpkin treats.

London Zoo’s animals have celebrated Halloween early, after their keepers gave them carved pumpkins that were stuffed with their favourite treats.

As well as providing a seasonal snack, the pumpkin activities challenged the animals’ abilities to forage for their food.

The zookeepers carved the pumpkins, many of which were sourced from London Zoo’s own community garden, for the Sumatran tigers, okapis, Galapagos tortoises and a Komodo dragon. Each animal had their own stuffed pumpkin to forage.

The critically-endangered Sumatran tigers, Zac and Crispin, followed a cinnamon and nutmeg trail through their territory to get their claws into their pumpkin snacks. Meanwhile Kahleesi, a 1.5m long Komodo dragon, used her 60 serrated teeth to break into her own meat-filled pumpkin.

Other animals enjoying the festivities included Galapagos tortoises Polly, Dolly and Priscilla, as well as the Zoo’s okapis, Oni and Ede, who stretched their tongues to a length of 30cm to find their breakfast.

The zoo is home to 14,000 animals, from 386 different species, many of which are threatened or extinct in the wild and are part of conservation programmes. It also participates in global breeding programmes, such as the Zoological Society of London’s Sumatran tiger breeding programme, to maintain a population of threatened species.

London Zoo’s zoological operations manager Dan Simmonds said: “With pumpkins in season, they are a sustainable snack for some of the animals, while others just love tearing them apart.

“Just like siblings after an evening trick-or-treating, our tiger teenagers Zac and Crispin weren't particularly keen to share their spooky squashes with each other, preferring to play with their food before they ate it.”

Image © ZSL

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.