If you’ve been to the National Zoo over the last couple of years, surely you’ve encountered the mass of construction where a new home for the elephants has been in development. Well, if you go now, you’ll likely see the Zoo’s gentle giants roaming where, not long ago, bulldozers were making lots of dust and noise. Phase One of Elephant Trails opened to the public on September 3. And reviews so far have been great.
The first of two phases in the $52 million renovation includes the Barn, a 5,700-foot state-of-the-art, livable indoor space for the elephants; two large habitat areas where the elephants can roam and graze; the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Elephant Outpost where visitors can view the elephants and check out interactive exhibits about Asian elephants and the Zoo’s conservation efforts to prevent their extinction; and the Elephant Trek, a 1/4-mile exercise path for the big beasts.
The kids and I have yet to check out the new facility ourselves, but judging from this slide show, it looks fantastic. Ambika, Shanthi, and Kandula can expect a visit from us soon!