The Woodland Park Zoo turkey toss returns this weekend

Nov 20 2019, 6:00 am

Thanksgiving is coming up next week, and we humans aren’t the only ones celebrating.

Why specify humans? Well, the animals at the Woodland Park Zoo will be feasting on turkey too — a week early. 

Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo

An activity not so suited for our vegan and vegetarian friends, the Woodland Park Zoo has a strange-yet-interesting event to witness, the Annual Turkey Toss.

The activity is part of the zoo’s program to help enrich the lives of the zoo’s animals. In the wild, animals capture and hunt their prey. Turkeys are natural prey to several predator species including snakes, skunks, raccoons, coyotes, cougars and so many more.

The Woodland Park Zoo works to encourage the primal instincts of their animals by throwing them an updated Thanksgiving feast: raw, store-prepared turkeys.

The zookeepers handle the physical tossing of the turkey, while spectators witness a rare sight: animals chomping down on their whole, raw food. 

Dennis Don/Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo reminds us that “enrichment like this encourages natural behaviors that keep animals mentally and physically stimulated.”

This year’s Turkey Toss is taking place on Saturday, November 23, and will run from 10 am to 2:30 pm. Below is a schedule of events: 

10:00 am
Jaguar (Tropical Rain Forest)
Tiger (Banyan Wilds)
Colobus Monkeys (Tropical Rain Forest)

10:30 am
Snow Leopards (Australasia)

11:00 am
Maned Wolves (Temperate Forest)
Orangutans (Trail of Vines)

11:30 am
Red Panda (Temperate Forest)
Rhinos (Assam Rhino Reserve)
Komodo Dragons (Adaptations)

11:45 am
River Otters (Northern Trail)

1:00 pm
Grizzly Bears (Northern Trail)
Anoa (behind Wildlife Theater)

1:15 pm
Golden Lion Tamarin Monkeys (Tropical Rain Forest)

1:30 pm
Kunekune Pigs (Family Farm)
Visayan Warty Pigs (Assam Rhino Reserve)

2:00 pm
Ambassador Animals (Alvord Broadleaf Theater)

2:30 pm
Wolves (Northern Trail)

Turkey Toss at the Woodland Park Zoo

When: Saturday, November 23, 2019
Time: 10 to 2:30 pm
Where: Woodland Park Zoo, 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle
Admission: Free with zoo admission.