September 3, 2010 – Permanent
3000 Block of Connecticut Ave., NW
Location: Olmsted Walk
As part of the Zoo's campaign to save Asian elephants, this expanded and transformed home for the Zoo's Asian elephants features a variety of habitats that support the natural behavior of the multi-generational herd. The entire habitat provides more than 4 acres of indoor and outdoor space and has the capacity to accommodate a natural, matriarchal herd and individual bulls—between 8 and 10 elephants and their young—with suites for individual elephants.
- Two new outdoor yards, with almost two acres of varied terrain, offer shade structures, heaters, and a pool.
- The Elephant Trek is a quarter-mile walking path to provide the elephants with exercise and foraging opportunities
- A new Elephant Barn with soft flooring replaces the old Elephant House as the primary living space for the Zoo's elephants Kandula (born in 2001), his mother Shanthi, and another female named Ambika.
- The Elephant Community Center (opened March 23, 2013, in the old Elephant House) offers visitors the opportunity to observe the elephants socializing throughout the year and to learn how the Zoo's keepers, vets, scientists, and other animal care staff provide world-class care.
- The Homer and Martha Gudelsky Elephant Outpost, an open courtyard, features interactive exhibits that bring to life the challenges facing Asian elephants in the wild, a range map, three life-size "willow" elephant sculptures, and vistas for viewing the elephants in their outdoor habitats.