Fish Won't Feast on Halloween

The pumpkin-flavoring craze fails to sway aquarium residents.

In October, it often seems as if everything edible is available in pumpkin flavor. Shoppers this month can buy pumpkin vodka, pumpkin wine, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin beer, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin doughnuts, pumpkin yogurt, and pumpkin pancakes. But you know who's completely un-interested in the pumpkin frenzy? Sea critters.

The Seattle Aquarium exposes select residents to pumpkin, but spokesperson Laura Austin says none of them have developed a taste for the autumnal treat. "They just play with them," Austin says of the carved pumpkins delivered in conjunction with Halloween. "The river otters, for some reason, they'll actually put the pumpkins on their heads and swim around."

Volunteer divers who compete in the underwater pumpkin-carving contest—"Divers just love doing things underwater," Austin says of the long-standing tradition which a few years ago became a fixed entry on the aquarium's holiday calendar—leave their completed creations in the display tank. "The fish might nibble, but it's not their preferred feed," Austin says.

Still, Halloween is considered an eating holiday at the aquarium. "We do freeze squid parts in cake pans," Austin says of the treats prepared for marine mammals.

No pumpkin flavoring is added to the mix.

hraskin@seattleweekly.com

 
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