Taronga Western Plains Zoo is expanding its elephant facility to make way for three male elephants from Taronga Zoo, who will arrive in the latter half of 2014.
The new elephant facility will see the construction of a new three stall barn alongside the Zoo’s current elephant barns, as well as two new paddocks totalling over 7500sq/m.
“In the wild, adolescent bull elephants would either leave or be turned out of the herd by the females to take up a more solitary lifestyle,“ said Elephant Supervisor, Todd Jenkinson.
“Taronga Zoo’s young male elephants are now moving to this time in their lives and will therefore take up residency in Dubbo.”
The new barn will feature large individual stalls and sand beds heated from solar collectors on the roof, pumping hot water through pipes in the winter months. A 10kw solar power system will also be installed, whilst the paddocks will feature large swimming ponds, elevated feeding stations and new shade structures.
“We are excited about Gung, Pathi Harn and Luk Chai coming to Taronga Western Plains Zoo, so that visitors can see our older females as well as these younger, more energetic males.”
“The facility has been built to set specifications to accommodate breeding on site however, currently there are no plans to breed elephants at Taronga Western Plains Zoo,” said Todd.
The redevelopment of the elephant facility is due for completion late 2014. During the redevelopment period, one of the elephant exhibits may be closed whilst construction takes place.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo is currently home to three older elephants, two Asian Elephants and one African Elephant.