The Fort Worth Zoo’s Board of Directors and Executive Director are thrilled to introduce the Zoo’s newest habitat, Elephant Springs, which includes multiple lush, green spaces and various watering holes for Asian elephants and greater one-horned rhino to roam.
“We are thrilled with these amazing new habitats and I must thank the citizens of Fort Worth, who continue to be so generous in their support of the Zoo,” said Ramona Bass, chair of the Fort Worth Zoological Association Board of Directors. “None of this would be possible without them.”
Opening April 15, Elephant Springs is phase two of A Wilder Vision, the $100-million capital campaign that includes new spaces, renovated habitats, merchandise locations, restrooms and most importantly, new ways to observe, interact with and learn about animals. “As the No. 1 zoo in the country, we’re confident that the changes and improvements happening here will continue to elevate our profile as the nation’s top-ranked zoo as well as an international leader in animal care and conservation.” said Fort Worth Zoo President Ardon Moore.
“We are excited to bring guests face-to-face with some of the most unique creatures in the world here at the Fort Worth Zoo,” said Zoo Executive Director Michael Fouraker.” While these animals have resided at the Zoo for some time, guests will be able to get closer to these animals and engage in ways that they’ve never been able to before. Elephant Springs will also shine a light on the struggles many of these animals face in the wild.”
- The Asian elephant herd will roam among multiple yards (including areas behind-the-scenes) and watering holes.
- Greater one-horned rhinos explore the neighboring habitats. Expanded spaces for this vulnerable species will allow the Zoo to continue its breeding and conservation program.
- Observe the herd from a themed floating village; the space also includes restrooms and merchandise.
- Interact with the herd by spraying water streams into the 400,000-gallon river. Water is a major source of enrichment for Asian elephants.
- Complete with educational programming such as keeper chats and training demonstrations, Elephant Springs will also share messages of conservation and environmental stewardship.
Additional highlights that you don’t see, behind the scenes, that elevate the level of care.
- Fifteen individual stalls to give the animals their own spaces, although many of the stalls are interconnected and can open into one larger space.
- A climate-controlled environment includes exhaust fans constantly in motion, keeping the air continuously circulating throughout. There are also heating elements available when necessary.
- The sand floors provide added comfort for the herd and create an ideal nursery space for calves in the future.
- Multiple neighboring yards are accessible should the animals choose to venture outdoors overnight.
- A prep kitchen, food pantry and second-floor hayloft provide easy access to food storage for the herd.
- Indoor and outdoor training spaces give keepers the ability to get close-up views and, in some cases hands-on, examinations of the animals.
- The barn includes portable floor scales so that keepers can be sure the animals are within a healthy weight range.
- State-of-the-art water filtration system that allows 400,000 gallons of water to be filtered and recycled back into the habitat.
The next part of A Wilder Vision to open will be Hunters of Africa & Asian Predators, which will completely redesign portions of the Zoo, allowing for expanded habitats for lions, tigers, hyenas, African wild dogs, clouded leopards, cheetahs and several exotic bird species. Hunters of Africa & Asian Predators will open in 2023.
The nationally acclaimed Fort Worth Zoo has been voted the No. 1 zoo in North America by USA Today, the Best Zoo in Texas by Yahoo Travel, the No. 5 zoo in the nation by USA Travel Guide, the No. 1 family attraction in the DFW Metroplex by Zagat survey and a Top 10 Zoo or Aquarium by FamilyFunmagazine. Home to more than 7,000 animals, the Zoo is in the second of a four-phase, $100-million master plan. The first phase, African Savanna, opened in April 2018. The second, Elephant Springs, will open in 2021. The institution’s focus on education and conservation is second to none, enhancing the lives of more than one million visitors a year and the animals that live here.
- Fort Worth Zoo