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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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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.