New Elephant Habitat
Photo by Melissa Willis
Elephant Habitat Facts
Groundbreaking: September 2009
Grand Opening: March 11, 2011
Cost: $13 million
Funding: 1/8 of a cent sales tax approved by Oklahoma City citizens in 1990; Inasmuch
Foundation ($250,000 for Thai demonstration pavilion); Devon Energy ($115,000 in-
kind pipe donation); ZooFriends Memberships ($250,000 minimum)
Size: 9.5 acres (capable of housing up to 2 bulls, 4 cows & possible offspring)
Architect: Torre Design Consortium Ltd. – New Orleans, LA
Contractor: Lippert Brothers, Inc.- OKC, OK
Location: Southeast corner of the Zoo behind Great EscApe
The Zoo’s dedication to the conservation and preservation of elephants in the wild and zoo environments. The need to raise awareness of these magnificent animals and the challenges they face for their survival. The passion of Oklahoma’s citizens who have shown such care and concern for elephants, beginning with the love affair that started with Judy the elephant in 1949.
The new elephant habitat covers more than 9.5 acres of Zoo real estate. Located in the southeast area of the Zoo by Great EscApe, the state-of-the-art exhibit includes three spacious outdoor yards, pools, a waterfall, shade structures and barn with amenities including views into the barn from a raised boardwalk.
- Elephant Barn: 15,600 square feet, 8 separate stalls with different configuration opportunities plus a large community stall with sand surface. Radiant floor heating system, raised office with 360 degree view of interior, ambient lighting through windows and skylights and hydraulic-operated animal gates.
- Bull Yard: ½ acre with 8 foot deep, 30,000 gallon pool.
- Center Yard: ½ acre between bull and cow yards with the capability to open into the bull yard includes a 4,500 gallon, 2 foot deep pool.
- Herd Yard: 2.6 acres with a twelve foot deep, 214,000 gallon pool. Waterfall off of barn flows into stream leading into pool.
- Elephant Pavilion/Amphitheatre: seats 400+ people. Daily routines such as baths, foot care and training sessions will be seen from the pavilion, allowing for interaction with the elephant keepers.
Elephant Habitat Photo Gallery