Oregon Zoo unveils new Elephant Lands exhibit - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo unveils new Elephant Lands exhibit

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Tuesday was a big day at the Oregon Zoo as they unveiled their new Elephant Lands exhibit.

The new home for Packy, Lilly and the gang is four times the size of the old exhibit and gives the elephants choices - choices to move, choices to eat and choices to socialize.

“This is a really big deal. We knew our elephants needed a new habitat, better home, better place,” Heidi Rahn, Director of the Oregon Zoo Bond Program, said. “We tried to think what do they need and how can we make it more like a natural environment. It’s all about giving them more space.

The new exhibit offers a large wading area, space for grazing, hilly corridors and other terrains for the elephants to enjoy.

“I think it's the choice and variety and the ability to make changes for themselves,” Bob Lee said. “They can graze 16-18 hours a day. They can form social groups of their choosing. We really wanted to leave it up to them how they wanted to spend their lives.”

The zoo is also working on more projects, like an education center, an expansion of the polar bear exhibit and growing the rhinoceros and primate habitats.

“We're taking dreams and making them a reality,” Lee added. “Elephants have been cared for at the Oregon Zoo for nearly 50 years so we're taking all that knowledge for our new Elephant Lands habitat.”

The new Elephant Lands habitat cost $57 million and opens to the Wednesday.

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