February 25, 2024
Elephant Valley will flip the present elephant surroundings right into a “dynamic savanna and a spot of exploration,” in line with a zoo assertion. Artist rendering courtesy San Diego Zoo

Building is underway on the Denny Sanford Elephant Valley, touted as the most important and most transformative undertaking within the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s 50-year historical past, the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance introduced Thursday.

Elephant Valley will flip the present elephant surroundings right into a “dynamic savanna and a spot of exploration,” in line with a zoo assertion.

“We’re thrilled to announce Denny Sanford Elephant Valley — a first- of-its-kind immersive expertise for guests, to additional join the very important work taking place right here in San Diego to the collaborative elephant conservation initiatives we help within the subject,” Paul A. Baribault, president and CEO of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, mentioned in a press release. “Elephant Valley couldn’t be achieved with out the unimaginable neighborhood, donors, members and allies who help us and make all our conservation work doable with companions around the globe.”

Surrounded by elephants on a number of sides, together with from beneath through an overhead walkway with views of the herd passing via, friends can be taught in regards to the essential function elephants have as ecosystem engineers, and about their intricate social dynamics, in line with the zoo.

On the heart of the brand new expertise can be a two-story lodge, impressed by the locations frequented by vacationers whereas on safari in Africa. In line with the zoo, the gathering place will “present alternatives to be taught from educators in regards to the awe-inspiring wildlife of the area, whereas witnessing elephants wade in expansive watering holes.”

The vegetation within the exhibit has been curated by a staff of horticulturists and arborists to authentically mirror the sights, sounds and smells of the African grasslands.

“As magnificent as elephants are, their future is equally fragile,” mentioned Lisa Peterson, government director of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “We’re honored to take hundreds of thousands of wildlife allies on a journey into the lifetime of elephants, the place they’ll be taught in regards to the optimistic impression everybody can have, and share in our hope for elephants worldwide.

“Elephant Valley can be a spot the place curiosity turns into discovery — the place anybody from ages 1 to 100 will expertise breathtaking moments of marvel in nature,” she mentioned. “Our hope is that the defining recollections you make right here stick with you for a lifetime.”

African savanna elephants are listed as endangered on the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature Crimson Checklist of Threatened Species.

“Elephants throughout Africa are going through immense challenges, which require all of us to collaborate and discover sustainable conservation options for elephants and folks,” mentioned Dr. Nadine Lamberski, chief conservation and wildlife well being officer of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “We’re wanting to witness the impression Elephant Valley may have on our continued elephant conservation efforts globally.”

Elephant Valley is funded by 1000’s of donors and longtime supporter Denny Sanford — who was additionally the lead donor for Wildlife Explorers Basecamp on the San Diego Zoo, and for the tutorial tv programming of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Explorers, offered at lots of of youngsters’s hospitals, Ronald McDonald Homes and different services throughout the globe, in line with the zoo.

Elephant Valley is anticipated to be accomplished in 2025.

–Metropolis Information Service