Elephants Explore Their New Digs

By R. Stickney
|  Tuesday, May 5, 2009  |  Updated 9:31 AM PDT
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Packing their trunks and moving to new digs

One of the elephants decided to take a dip, or two, in the new pool.

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Elephants On Their Odyssey

Four elephants checked out their new 7.5 acre, $45 million habitat at the San Diego Zoo.

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Four elephants checked out their new 7.5 acre, $45 million habitat at the San Diego Zoo Monday.

The exhibit, known as Elephant Odyssey, includes rolling hills, mechanical trees for activities, shade, showers, or heat.

One of the girls took a couple of dips in the 137,000 gallon swimming pool.

The elephants arrived April 25, escorted by five police motorcycles -- lights flashing -- an escort fit for dignitaries.

"There have been several months of preparation and training of the elephants," said Rick Schwartz, the Elephant Odyssey Ambassador. "They walked right into their crates, enjoyed a nice little snack while getting into the trucks.

The big move went smoothly. The exhibit will open to the public on May 23rd. Visitors to the San Diego Zoo will see eight life-sized replicas of extinct creatures that made the cross-country trip from Wisconsin in early April to be part of the zoo's new feature.

Ranchipur, who weights 12,500 pounds, was the largest of the elephants moved to the zoo. The four Asian elephants joined three other elephants already making their home at the zoo.

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