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Elephant facility nearing completion

Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s new state-of-the-art Elephant facility is having the finishing touches added, with completion set for the end of this year.

The $4.3 million project has been under construction for the past 12 months which has seen the addition of a new three-stall elephant barn and two new paddocks totalling over 7500sqm.

The elephant barn has been constructed with the environment in mind and features a 10kw solar system on the roof which provides power to all three barns at the facility.

“The barn has been constructed from a thermal mass concrete providing better insulation and has been designed to take advantage of natural sunlight to assist with heating and drying the barn throughout the year,” said Taronga Western Plains Zoo’s General Manager, Matthew Fuller.

“The new elephant barn also features automated louvers to allow for cross ventilation as well as hydronic solar under floor heating to heat sand beds for the elephants.”  

“The two new paddocks feature deep swimming pools and shade shelters along with raised feeding stations for the elephants to enjoy.”

“As part of the redevelopment the Zoo’s two existing elephant barns were also upgraded, with a new heating system installed for the elephants during the winter months,” said Matthew.   

The facility has been designed for the long-term needs of the herd and to be able to house different configurations of elephants.

“The Zoo’s new facility now comprises of three barns and five paddocks providing a number of options for the elephants.”

Logistics for the transfer are currently being planned with four elephants due to arrive from Taronga Zoo in March 2015.

“The animals will be given time to settle in once they arrive and become familiar with their new environment and keepers before going on exhibit,” said Matthew.

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