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Main Yard Elephant Crossing

Main Yard Elephant Crossing
Dibatag, 7 Jun 2010
    • snowleopard
      I realize that the zoo spent at least $10 million greatly expanding the Asian elephant exhibit and that this complex only just opened in 2007. However, there have been so many multi-acre elephant habitats that have since been unveiled in major American zoos that I confess the photos of Elephant Crossing at Calgary Zoo seem underwhelming and downright disappointing in comparison. When one considers that the zoo experiences harsh, frigid winters then the pachyderms must spend a considerable amount of time indoors. In November, December, January, February and March the city has a daily average temperature of 4 degrees (or less) Celsius, which means that I'd bet the elephants spend the vast majority of those 5 months inside their barn. Also, does anyone know the square footage of the exhibit?
    • Dibatag
      It is a great improvement on the previous exhibit which was atrocious.

      In regard to cold winters, this winter has been very mild and the elephants happily go out if it is above minus ten. The yard leaves something to be desired, by by no means is it bad.
    • snowleopard
      Now the zoo has 4-5 years to determine what species will replace the Asian elephants, and naturally due to the size of the exhibit and containment barriers the usual suspects will be some type of rhino. Since this enclosure is technically on the edge of the Eurasian section Indian rhinos would be likely replacements, although I'm not sure how hardy that species is in terms of dealing with cold Canadian winters.
    • DavidBrown
      I haven't been following elephant doings in Calgary. Are they abandoning their elephant program, even with this newish exhibit?

      Will there be any Canadian zoos left with elephants?
    • snowleopard
      @DAVID: If you check out the written thread about Calgary Zoo on this site you'll find out specific information, and yes the zoo is phasing out elephants. Their bull Spike, who was on loan, will be heading to sunny Miami, while the 3 females will need a home in 4-5 years. The zoo is adamant that the trio will stay together and so by planning for the future there should be a successful home located. Toronto is sending its three remaining elephants to PAWS in California in a few weeks, and Edmonton's Valley Zoo is steadfastly refusing to send its ailing Asian elephant Lucy away due to her age and medical condition.

      Vancouver sent its elephants away over a decade ago, Toronto and Calgary will follow suit soon enough, and that leaves Bowmanville Zoo (1), Edmonton (1), Granby Zoo (2), Hemmingford Parc Safari (3) and African Lion Safari (13) as the other locations with elephants in Canada. With Alaska Zoo having sent Maggie away a few years ago, Detroit having sent its elephants away around 2005, Philadelphia ending its elephant program, Bronx and Point Defiance already having promised to phase out elephants, etc, there has been a gradual decrease in elephants in the northern sections of the continent and the vast majority of captive elephants are now found in sunnier climes. Which northern zoo will be next to end its elephant program? Buffalo Zoo? Milwaukee County Zoo?
    • snowleopard
      @DAVID: thanks for the link, and the video was interesting as well. With such a small exhibit for 4 (soon to be 5!) elephants and no land for expansion I applaud the Calgary Zoo for taking such steps. Now the difficult part will be finding a zoo that can take up to possibly 4 females at the same time.
    • gerenuk
      That won't be difficult.
    • DavidBrown
      LA Zoo has space for several more elephants. Hmmmmm.
    • jusko88
      smithsonian national zoo wants more asian elephants for there elephant trails.
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    Calgary Zoo
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    7 Jun 2010
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