From September – end of August – until the end of the calendar year, or until stocks run out, no American is far from the seasonal scent of spices at the end of the calendar year, or until stocks run out, no American is far from the seasonal scent of spices at pumpkin. Not even zoo animals. The powder is sprinkled in the lions' pens at the Smithsonian National Zoo. It is scattered in the exhibition that houses Fred, an American elk of the Oklahoma City Zoo. The Cincinnati Zoo contains dust on the living space of bears and foxes. And these animals love it, say the guards. But few furry creatures adopt the pumpkin spice lifestyle with as much enthusiasm as Bei Bei, the young panda at the national zoo, who was introduced to the fall additive last year and immediately sprayed the head. Her guards sometimes use pumpkin spices to lace up a rotten log, creating a combination that Bei Bei finds mesmerizing. "With pandas, if they really like a smell, they try to cover it with their whole body," said Laurie Thompson, assistant curator for giant pandas at the National Zoo. "Bei Bei liked it." Pumpkin spices, which are usually sold in powder form as pumpkin pie spices, are not the only ones spicing up zoo pens. This is one of the 30 to 40 smells used in the big cats exhibition at the national zoo, for example. All are used in what is termed in the jargon of "odor enrichment" zoos – the practice of exposing animals, many of which depend on their sensitive noses to collect information, odors that encourage natural behaviors, keep them interested in their environment or make them move. . This is done not only with spices, but also with oils, herbs and, more often, feces and urine. Sometimes, zookeepers use the smells of predators or animal prey because they are alert to an attack or a stalking dinner. The guards can sprinkle odorous objects on the rocks, spray them on the trees or create with them a path that leads to food.
Gusti, one of the 1-year-old Sumatran tiger cubs from the Oklahoma City City Zoo, licks cinnamon that has been sprinkled on his toy. (Sabrina Heise / Oklahoma City Zoo) But pumpkin spices – with its constituent aromas, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove – are a favorite of many zoo residents, especially felines, which depend on perfume for hunting and mating. The tigers and lions of the Oklahoma City Zoo who meet him often react with a "scent marking" – rubbing their chin or urinating nearby, the same type of action that they could display when they "leave messages" to a potential partner in the wild, said Kim Leser, the curator of the zoo's breeding and behavioral welfare. This does not necessarily mean that pumpkin spices would lead a tiger to believe that it will happen to an eligible woman, she says; even in the wild, mating is random. But that would give him the opportunity to play his loving instinct. "It's just excitement. . . chuffling and clawing, "she said. "It reproduces the behavior we want to encourage." The propensity of the panda to dive into a favorite scent is called "scented unction," Thompson said, and Bei Bei's mother, Mei Xiang, also does with pumpkin spice. Fred, the elk of Oklahoma City, reacts the same way to the smell of autumn. "He loves to rub things," Leser said. "The more fragrant, the better. So for him, all we could go in an elevator and say, "Ooh, that's too much," he likes them. "All of this means that if you were Bei Bei or Mei Xiang in his arms these days, they could feel Starbucks on one. If you smell Fred's hairy neck, you might feel transported to the orange section of the Yankee Candle store. But the animals of the zoo are individuals, say the guards: Tian Tian, the father of Bei Bei, is recently interested in nutmeg., He could take or let the aroma more complex pumpkin spice, said Thompson.
Fred, an American elk residing in the Oklahoma Trails exhibit of the Oklahoma City Zoo, is a pumpkin spice lover. (Sabrina Heise / Oklahoma City Zoo) Just like us, many zoo animals are exposed to pumpkin spice on a purely seasonal basis. "Being the season of pumpkin spice, it's easy to get," said Mike Dulaney, mammal curator at the Cincinnati Zoo, where polar and spectacled bears and gray and arctic foxes are adept at keeping their eyes peeled. spices and where ocelots love the pumpkin extract. The animals that have already tasted the spice might be more interested because it reminds them of the previous October, said Dulaney. "It's like, 'Ooh, pumpkin spice! I remember this! But I do not remember what I found, '"while exploring it. "It does not take much spice or odor to be spilled around the show to get them to move a bit more," added Dulaney.
American zoo animals are not the only ones to benefit from pumpkin spice treatment. Bhanu, an Asian lion from the London Zoo, sports scented leaves that the zoo calls "a special blend of comforting spices" – cardamom, cinnamon and clove. (Peter Nicholls / Reuters) At the National Zoo, great cat keepers have been using pumpkin spices for years, said goaltender Katy Juliano. "I think Starbucks copied us," she joked. "It was our number one, and for a long time, the only spice we have used here, because it is very popular with lions and tigers," Juliano said. "Something about the combination of nutmeg and cinnamon is really very exciting for them." When it is sprinkled on the floor, the cats collapse in it. They will lick it and "make that face crazy," said Juliano, referring to The curling of the lips that occurs when a cat or other animal sucks a scent up to its vomeronasal organ for further analysis. They will sleep on pumpkin and spice hay. Luke, an older lion, finds pumpkin spice particularly enjoyable. Juliano says that he has understood everything in his mane, much like a dry shampoo with a hint of Thanksgiving. Great cat keepers stop before seasoning their ground beef diet, carcasses and bones with aroma, she said. But unlike Starbucks, they do not deprive their followers of the pleasing aroma of spring. "We use it all the time," Juliano said. "They would probably be sad if we only used it in the fall. They would miss it. To find out more: America's biggest bear has been crowned Nearly 40,000 people have asked to run a cat sanctuary on a Greek island Mountain goats are flying out of a national park. It's a long story. .