Fort Worth Zoo welcomed its newest elephant habitat, Elephant Springs, which has tripled its previous size and will serve the Zoo’s Asian elephant herd and greater one-horned rhino.
“We are thrilled with these amazing new habitats and I must thank the citizens of Fort Worth, who continue to be so generous in their support of the Zoo,” Ramona Bass, chair of the Fort Worth Zoological Association Board of Directors, said in a release. “None of this would be possible without them.”
- The Asian elephant herd will roam among multiple yards (including areas behind-the-scenes) and watering holes.
- Greater one-horned rhinos explore the neighboring habitats. Expanded spaces for this vulnerable species will allow the Zoo to continue its breeding and conservation program.
- Observe the herd from a themed floating village; the space also includes restrooms and merchandise.
- Interact with the herd by spraying water streams into the 400,000-gallon river. Water is a major source of enrichment for Asian elephants.
- Complete with educational programming such as keeper chats and training demonstrations, Elephant Springs will also share messages of conservation and environmental stewardship.
Additional highlights that go unseen, behind the scenes, that elevate the level of care.
- Fifteen individual stalls to give the animals their own spaces, although many of the stalls are interconnected and can open into one larger space.
- A climate-controlled environment includes exhaust fans constantly in motion, keeping the air continuously circulating throughout. There are also heating elements available when necessary.
- The sand floors provide added comfort for the herd and create an ideal nursery space for calves in the future.
- Multiple neighboring yards are accessible should the animals choose to venture outdoors overnight.
- A prep kitchen, food pantry and second-floor hayloft provide easy access to food storage for the herd.
- Indoor and outdoor training spaces give keepers the ability to get close-up views and, in some cases hands-on, examinations of the animals.
- The barn includes portable floor scales so that keepers can be sure the animals are within a healthy weight range.
- State-of-the-art water filtration system that allows 400,000 gallons of water to be filtered and recycled back into the habitat.
The next part of A Wilder Vision to open will be Hunters of Africa & Asian Predators, which will completely redesign portions of the Zoo, allowing for expanded habitats for lions, tigers, hyenas, African wild dogs, clouded leopards, cheetahs and several exotic bird species. Hunters of Africa & Asian Predators will open in 2023.