Chinese zoo celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival by feeding the animals “mooncakes”

A hippo finished its 10kg “forage mooncake”, and the snub-nosed monkey got a “fruit mooncake”… September 13th was the Mid-Autumn Festival in China. Adorable animals in Safari Park, Shenzhen, also celebrated this special day with their unique custom-made “mooncake”. At 9 a.m., the zookeeper made special “mooncakes” according to the feeding habits of the animals. All the “mooncakes” were not only different in sizes and style but also varied in their ingredients.

Lemurs inspecting the “fruit mooncakes”

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional festival in China on August 15th on the lunar calendar. It is the day for family reunions, symbolized by the full moon that night. The mooncake, usually made of rice, grains, or lotus, is the reflection of the full moon on the food.

The snub-nosed monkeys and ring-tailed lemurs are primates. Zookeepers used a doughy pie skin and filled it with the animals’ favorite food like apples, bananas, grapes, jujubes, peanuts, and boiled eggs to make “fruit mooncakes”.

The snub-faced monkeys are curious about the fruit mooncake

The elephants and hippos are large herbivores that eat a lot, so their “forage mooncakes” were much larger than the “fruit mooncakes” for the primates: one “forage mooncake” weighed 10kg (about 22 pounds). The “forage mooncakes” were made of elephant grass, carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas, and alfalfa pellets.

The animals welcomed these unique “mooncakes”. The 10kg “forage mooncake” quickly disappeared as the smart elephant rolled its agile snorts around it. The hippo opened its mouth wide to gorge the whole “forage mooncake” at once. The ring-tailed lemurs had their mouth watering at the “mooncake feast”: they promptly gathered around and enjoyed the meal. The snub-nosed monkeys were more curious about the “fruit mooncakes”, sniffing around it carefully before digging in.

Shenzhen Safari Park has been organizing animal mooncake activities every Mid-Autumn Festival since 2011. The materials for the mooncake were all designed based on the animals’ typical diets. These “mooncakes” satisfied the animals’ appetite while ensuring safety and nutritional needs.

The original article can be found on

Translated by Zichen He

Edited by Andrea Jia @ Animal Dialogue

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s