How easy is it for hippos to crush pumpkins? The answer can send shivers down your spine.

Screenshots from @cincinnatizoo’s TikTok

Hippos at the Cincinnati Zoo this year, they’re getting up to tricks a little earlier — munching on whole pumpkins, a viral TikTok video shows.

Zoo staff gave the hippos pumpkins on Oct. 26, National Pumpkin Day, according to the video. Spectators gasped and giggled as staff rolled huge pumpkins of all sizes into the hippo’s jaws before they swallowed them after a bite or two.

Fritz the hippopotamus also swims up to zoo staff for a treat, sending a wave to the crowd in a live stream posted to Facebook.

Hippos can be enjoyed from a distance, like in a safe TikTok video at the zoo, but the power of their bite is terrifying.

While hippos mainly eat plants, wild African hippos are considered “some of the most aggressive animals on Earth,” according to National Geographic.

In addition to the bite force, which is almost three times stronger than that of a lion, the hippopotamus is known to have a digestive enzyme in saliva that can “chemically damage the human body,” according to the 2020 Oxford Medical Case Report, filed with the National Library of Medicine.

All of this points to what it is indeed it’s easy for hippos to crunch pumpkins—and they could be the perfect animal for both adorable zoo views and spooky facts this Halloween season.

Alison Cutler is McClatchy’s real-time national reporter for the Southeast. She is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and previously worked at The News Leader in Staunton, Virginia, a USAToday affiliate.

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