Earlier this month the Oregon Zoo had a special day for Portlanders to take an inside look at the new Elephant Lands. The lucky Zoo fans were able to walk inside the new areas and take a look at what the elephants were finally able to enjoy today.
Pachyderms take first steps in newly completed Forest Hall section of Elephant Lands
At a little after 10 a.m. this morning, Oregon Zoo keepers opened the back door to the old elephant barn — constructed when the zoo first moved to its current Washington Park location in 1959 — and the 13,000-pound Tusko stepped out, pausing briefly to survey the scene.
It didn’t take the 44-year-old bull elephant long to decide what to do. As keepers encouraged him with some of his favorite fruits and vegetables, Tusko strode directly over to the new building and calmly walked inside.
Lee said the elephant family will be acclimating to the new area at its own pace in the coming weeks, and will soon be moving into the northern portion of the habitat as well. To keep the herd comfortable during the building of Elephant Lands, animal-care staff and construction managers devised a careful phasing plan to gradually expand the elephants’ accessible space.
Great Day For The Oregon Zoo.