Watch These Elephants Have a Total Blast Stomping On Giant Pumpkins

This time of year, pumpkins are the star of the show — even for elephants! A herd of  pachyderms at the Oregon Zoo in Portland kicked off Halloween by stomping all over some giant pumpkins. The event is called the “Squishing of the Squash” and is held annually to commence the zoo’s “Howloween” celebrations.

More than 5,000 people attended this year’s Squishing of the Squash on Oct. 19. The zoo is currently home to six Asian elephants and you can tell they really enjoy smashing the pumpkins with their enormous bodies. Zoo spectators had a great time as well — although I certainly don’t envy the person that’s tasked with cleaning up afterwards!

“Thanks to giant pumpkin grower Larry Nelson, the elephant family had a very gourd time this morning 🎃,” read the video’s caption.

People thought the video was super-adorable, and it has been viewed more than 350,000 times and shared more than 5,000 times.

“[T]he tradition goes back at least to 1999, when Hoffman’s Dairy Garden of Canby dropped off a prize-winning 828-pound pumpkin for the Asian elephants,” zoo spokesperson Hova Najarian told Gizmodo by email. “Local farmers would often donate their overstock Halloween pumpkins for use in the zoo’s then-groundbreaking, now world-renowned, environmental enrichment program.”

The Squishing of the Squash is free with zoo admission.  Following this kickoff, a number of other “Howloween” activities are held at the zoo on the subsequent weekends leading up to Oct. 31, including a scavenger hunt.

It definitely seems like a smashingly good time!