African elephants Kelly and Tara moved to their new environment in the all-new African Savanna, opening later this summer, on June 16, 2019. Elephant Program Manager Nate shares more about the milestone. Kelly and Tara will remain behind the scenes as they acclimate to their new spaces. They will occupy the Zambezi Elephant Center, the state-of-the-art indoor component of the new elephant complex, for a period while grass is being planted and given a chance to germinate.
The elephants’ new African Savanna habitat incorporates many elements designed with elephant well-being in mind. The new environment more than triples the size of the elephants’ former habitat and will be a dynamic living space. Elements will include Abana Pond, the largest of the complex’s three water features. Abana Pond will have 360-degree access and a gentle slope for ease of use by the elephants. Additional water features include two waterfalls and a feeder enrichment activity wall. Hand-crafted rockwork is designed to replicate an African river basin.