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future elephant area

June 15, 2010 The soccer field that will become our new elephant exhibit. Fence in background with dark green cloth covering it is current zoo perimeter.

future elephant area
Arizona Docent, 15 Jun 2010
    • Arizona Docent
      June 15, 2010
      The soccer field that will become our new elephant exhibit. Fence in background with dark green cloth covering it is current zoo perimeter.
    • Arizona Docent
      Official groundbreaking ceremony was just over a week ago. I will post construction photos as progress develops. Anticipated exhibit opening (and I stress anticipated) is January 2012.

      One year to complete such a major project (biggest in zoo history) seems fairly quick to me, but we have a few things going for us.

      1) It is basically an undeveloped area, so not a lot of demolition to do (just a few benches, one small playground, etc).

      2) It is on the corner of a road through the park (not inside the zoo) and a major city street, so access for construction vehicles is easy.

      3) Tucson has great year-round weather with few rain delays.
    • Dallaspachyderm
      Looks like if it meets up to the expectations the site plans present, it should be the best elephant enclosure in Arizona and New Mexico!
    • Arizona Docent
      Yes, well there is not much competition there. Only one other elephant exhibit in Arizona and only one in New Mexico and those are both for asian elephants. So I can say without a doubt it will be the best african elephant exhibit in Arizona and New Mexico :D.

      Seriously, though, if it comes out as good as the plans look, it should be in the top three in the country (along with Dallas and Nashville).
    • snowleopard
      Top three in the country? Ranking elephant exhibits is of course subjective, but for my money North Carolina is #1 with Nashville and Dallas not that far behind. I saw all three within a couple of weeks of each other and they are all brilliant, but then of course there is the 7.5 acre Disney's Animal Kingdom exhibit, 6-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park exhibit, the 6-acre Oakland Zoo exhibit, the 4.5 acre Kansas City Zoo exhibit, plus brand new, multi-acre elephant exhibits opening at the Oklahoma City Zoo (2011), Denver Zoo (2012) and even Oregon has the money already in the bank for a proposed 6-acre Asian elephant exhibit. If Reid Park Zoo is going to have one of the 3 best elephant exhibits in the country then it is going to have to come up with something absolutely superb!:) I think that the zoo would be happy just to have one of the 10 best elephant exhibits.
    • Arizona Docent
      SD Safari Park is a pretty boring exhibit - nothing going for it except size (and of course the impressive breeding streak). I have not been to Oakland, but based on photos it is basically the same. Disney AK is good (I forgot about that one) except that you can only see it for one minute on a ride, which puts it way down the list.

      Ours is going to have the natural riverbanks etc of Dallas, the rock kopjes of Nashville AND the only visitor touch experience in the country!
    • snowleopard
      @Arizona Docent: I certainly hope that Reid Park comes up with a brilliant elephant exhibit, and I think that it is possible because there has been a tremendous push to create much more natural-looking elephant enclosures throughout the United States. Some paddocks even have grass in them!:) I also am excited about any possible visitor touch experience, as it could become the next trend at American zoos. Woodland Park is going to allowing visitors (for a fee) to feed browse to its 3 elephants in 2011, and that is something that might catch on elsewhere.
    • JaxElephant
      @snowleopard: That definitely sounds like an experience that I want to do! I wanted to feed the rhino at the Lowry Park Zoo but instead I got to see a rhino fight(Herd+calf vs Dad!!). But I too would like to how this exhibit will contend with the other African Elephant exhibits in America as new exhibits are popping up all across the country. I only wish the Jacksonville Zoo would join as well but there is barely enough space to renovate our enclosure.
    • Dallaspachyderm
      Yes, oakland exhibit is barren in the part people see. San Diego SD is pleasant as well but they had too many elephants on 2.5 acres and most of the grass is GONE. Also there is Indianapolis (very good habitat). as for Oklahoma and Denver- those are for Asian elephants the ones we discussed are for Afrcian. Although Cleveland and Birmingham are opening their habitats next year. So my order is:
      1-DISNEY
      2-North Carolina
      3-Dallas/Nashville
      4-Indianapolis
      5-San Diego SD/Kansas city
      6-Oakland

      Hope to see Tucson up there in the near future!
    • BlackRhino
      Everyone seems to be forgetting about Cleveland, which has some pretty awesome features built into the exhibit. My only complaint having seen the nearly finished construction site a few days ago is all the visible barriers and buildings Hopefully this is just due to the fact that it is winter and everything in Cleveland is barren and open in the winter, so maybe come spring there will be a lush elephant habitat. I will also say Cleveland is one of the only elephant exhibits that will replicate the woodland where African elephants live as well with a beautiful forested area. So, I think in discussing top ten elephant exhibits, let us not forget Cleveland and remember size is not everything.
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    Reid Park Zoo
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    Arizona Docent
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    15 Jun 2010
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