New Elephant Trails Exhibit Opens Friday

The first phase of the renovation includes new yards and exhibits.

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Phase I of the National Zoo's new elephant trails will open Friday, Sept. 3.
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The zoo’s three elephants have been exploring their new home.
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Phase I has four elements: a new elephant barn, two new outdoor yards, the Elephant Exercise Trek and the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Elephant Outpost.
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The final phase of the exhibit is scheduled to open in 2013. It will include a full renovation of the elephant house.
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Kandula, an eight-year-old Asian elephant, hangs out underneath a new shade structure.
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The senior-most resident is Ambika, a 62-year-old Asian elephant.
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The barn, which is not open to the public, houses the zoo's three Asian elephants: Ambika, 62, and Shanthi, 34, and Shanthi’s 8-year-old son, Kandula.
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The old Elephant House, built in the 1930s, will be converted to the Elephant Community Center for visitors.
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Says the zoo: "The barn includes a large indoor habitat with 'suites' for multiple, as well as individual, elephants. Four suites have rubber flooring and one has a four-foot-deep sand floor. A hoist beam over each suite is capable of lifting up to 12,000 pounds to move an elephant in an emergency. The hoists also allow keepers to hang enrichment items to stimulate the elephants’ natural behaviors."
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First graders from the District's Cleveland Elementary School checked out the new interactive elements.
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Great school uniform!
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Visitors can watch the elephants from a bridge above the new yards.
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The Homer and Martha Gudelsky Elephant Outpost features interactive exhibits about conservation attempts to help save Asian elephants.
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