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10/30/2013 06:03 pm ET

Adorable Lion Cubs Celebrate Halloween Early With Pumpkin Pouncing

Forget smashing pumpkins, lion cubs know it's way more fun to to give the festive gourds a good pouncing.

Sango and Sabi gave guests an adorable show playing with the pumpkins at the Denver Zoo's Predator Ridge. The pumpkin-pouncing was also a much-needed uplifting event, since the zoo had lost four lions to cancer this year.

According to a press release from the zoo, it was the first time many guests were able to see Sango, a 1-year-old male cub who came from Lufkin, Texas' Ellen Trout Zoo in July. Sango had to spend the past few months in a mandatory quarantine and getting comfortable with Sabi.

Sabi and two of her brothers arrived at the Denver Zoo in November of last year as a gift from the royal family of Qatar. Zookeepers are hoping that she and Sango will mate and form a new pride.

Zookeepers are saving the really big show for Halloween, however.

On Thursday, the zoo will present their elephants with 400- and 500-pound pumpkins donated from Brian Deevy, a giant pumpkin hobbyist.

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