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Copenhagen Zoo - Elephant House

The indoor enclosure for female elephants at Copenhagen Zoo. Here is the young male Tonsak using the large indoor enclosure while the females are outdoors. June 2008

Copenhagen Zoo - Elephant House
Toddy, 8 Nov 2008
    • Toddy
      The indoor enclosure for female elephants at Copenhagen Zoo. Here is the young male Tonsak using the large indoor enclosure while the females are outdoors.
      June 2008
    • snowleopard
      Do the elephants play with the sand very much? It seems like a great idea, and if the sand is utilized every day then perhaps other zoos should use it in such huge quantities as well.
    • Toddy
      Oh yes, the elephants are very happy with the sand, and often play and roll around in it. They also lie down more here than in other elephantenclosures.
    • Elephas Maximus
      Is there any way to view complete elephant without those damn cable fences?
      The tendence to block the view in modern elephant exhibits is really disappointing.
      Of course the moats are dangerous, but could the floors be built with a slope so the fence doesn't get into view, being in the lowest part?!
    • zooboy28
      Very few indoor elephant exhibits have a moat separating animals and visitors, its basically a waste of space indoors. Cable fences are very effective at minimising wasted space.

      The outside exhibit is viewable across a moat from outside the zoo, but I'm not sure that inside the zoo the paddock can be viewed 'openly'.
    • Elephas Maximus
      The lack of elevated visitor area is a great flaw in this barn's design.
      Somewhere I read that elephants can be viewed through the roof, is it true?
    • Hvedekorn
      Copenhagen Zoo is a very small zoo (at least in terms of physical area), which is actually why they have this really expensive, Norman Foster-designed elephant house. They don't have the space to build a gigantic elephant stable and hope that visitors are impressed by its spaciousness rather than its appearance, so they specifically wanted an elephant house that is appealing to the eyes. That may be why the architect didn't think of functionalism/minimalism everywhere (like here with the obscured view), and they cannot build an indoor moat or a slope as the house is too small.

      But I'm not sure what you mean by roof? If you mean "viewed through the glass roof on this picture", then the answer is no, unless you have a ladder or a crane.
    • zooboy28
      There is a ramp leading down to the elephant exhibit I think, and this (or perhaps a separate area - can't remember) gives some elevated viewing (through glass), but does mean you are looking down on the elephants. This includes both views of the female herd and the bull pen (from seperate indoor locations).

      It really is quite a decent elephant house, one of the better ones that I have seen.
    • condor
      Just for the record, at a total of 3,300 m2/35,500 square feet, this is among the largest elephant houses in Europe (which also makes it among the largest in the world). It is, of course, still quite a bit smaller than the largest in the world, the 5,000 m2/54,000 square feet elephant house at Cologne, which also houses more elephants. Of all the elephant houses I've seen, I consider Copenhagen and Cologne to be at the very top. Both have their flaws and both have their strengths. It'll be interesting to see if the elephant house at Oregon Zoo, part of the soon-to-open Elephant Lands, will be superior.

      The place where the fairly small total size of Copenhagen Zoo is evident is the outside elephant enclosure. I think the size of the main outside section is acceptable (but at the lower border), while the section for the elephant bull is problematic.
    • uszoo
      - All those elephant houses are great but Zoo Zurich should have the world's best when it opens later this year. Look it up online it is massive and very cool looking.
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    8 Nov 2008
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