Forget apple orchards and corn mazes—the best fall tradition we've seen takes place at the Oregon Zoo. In October, the Portland institution celebrates the Halloween season by giving its animals pumpkins to play with, and watching the zoo's elephants smash giant ones to a pulp is especially satisfying.
In the video below, spotted by Nerdist, a herd of elephants takes part in the Oregon Zoo's 23rd annual “Squishing of the Squash.” Giant pumpkins take a lot of work to grow, and these 6000-pound pachyderms managed to pulverize them in seconds. Indulging in some harmless destruction is clearly fun for the elephants—and it's pretty fun to watch, too.
The elephants aren't the only zoo residents who get to enjoy the seasonal tradition. The river otters, porcupines, and ring-tailed lemurs also got their own pumpkins this year, though theirs were much smaller than the gourds in the elephant enclosure.
Adding unusual elements to their environment can be enriching for zoo residents. In addition to creating fun content for animal lovers, the Squishing of the Squash stimulates animals on a mental level. This is the same reason many zoos call for used Christmas tree donations at the end of the year. You can watch elephants munching on old evergreens here.