Giant logs from iconic train display turned into Oregon Zoo elep - KPTV - FOX 12

Giant logs from iconic train display turned into Oregon Zoo elephant toys

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Photo: Oregon Zoo Photo: Oregon Zoo

Giant Douglas fir logs from an iconic train display at Washington Park have been turned into super-sized toys for elephants at the Oregon Zoo.

Stimson Lumber Co. workers began forklifting five enormous logs off the World Forestry Center's Peggy the Train locomotive display Tuesday morning.

They were transferred a few hundred feet downhill for use at the Oregon Zoo's Elephant Lands habitat.

According to zoo experts, the logs - each around 30 feet long and 3 feet in diameter - will promote exercise and encourage natural behaviors among the zoo's Asian elephant family. They will be used as an extension of the zoo's environmental enrichment efforts.

"They'll give the elephants new surfaces to scratch on, push against and climb over," said Shawn Finnell, the zoo's senior elephant keeper. "Lily especially is an active climber, and I expect her to be all over them."

The World Forestry Center, which is currently updating and renovating several of its outdoor areas, said it was time to replace the logs, which had weathered after nearly 15 years on display.

"The World Forestry Center staff is thrilled to see our big logs go to a happy home," said Eric Vines, the center's executive director. "The Oregon Zoo is famous for providing great animal welfare, and this will also demonstrate the connection to forests and trees all creatures share."

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