Houston Zoo Doubles Elephant Habitat

Elephants have packed their trunks, so to speak, and moved into their expanded McNair Asian Elephant Habitat at the Houston Zoo. It's the opening weekend for the expansion.

The two-year-long development and construction project includes a 7,000-square-foot barn custom-built to house the zoo’s bull elephants, and a brand-new expanded habitat which features a boardwalk with an unobstructed view of the elephants and their nearly 160,000-gallon pool.

The new area mostly belongs to the zoo’s bull elephants. Tucker (12), and Baylor (7) received access to the new pool and yard this past week, and Thailand (age 51) is expected to take up residence in the coming weeks. Duncan (3) still resides with his mother Shanti and the three other females in the family habitat.

Along with room to roam, the expansion features interactive elements like the large pool and artificial trees with enriching feeding devices.

The zoo says the expansion is part of its global charge to save elephants in the wild.

The zoo supports elephant protection efforts in Malaysian Borneo through a partnership that works with local communities and elephants in Borneo to raise awareness of threats facing elephants, mitigate conflicts, and give farmers the tools and training they need to practice elephant-friendly agriculture. 

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