Elephant Odyssey Opens In Two Months

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As difficult as that may be to believe, it’s true! Opening day for the San Diego Zoo’s Elephant Odyssey is scheduled for May 23, just two short months away! The construction crews have been working some long days and are doing a wonderful job. Taking into consideration that ground breaking was officially October of 2007, they sure have come a long way.

You may be asking, “Why is the opening of this new area so exciting?” Well, to begin with, Elephant Odyssey is the largest multispecies exhibit ever built in the 92-year history of the San Diego Zoo. The entire Elephant Odyssey experience covers over 7.5 acres, (all within the 100 acres of the Zoo). The 2.5 acre elephant exhibit and the half-acre Elephant Care Center creates a living area 6 times the size of the current elephant exhibit, with an amazing use of space that includes built-in enrichment, water features, and so much more.

Keep in mind that Elephant Odyssey will be home to a wide variety of animals. As I mentioned above, this is a multispecies exhibit. From insects and reptiles to birds and mammals, there will be 12 animal exhibits with over 30 species of animals at Elephant Odyssey.

Here’s an exclusive peek (okay, not really exclusive, but it sounds good) at some of the species you will encounter while enjoying the Elephant Odyssey experience. You will have the opportunity to see giant water bugs, pond turtles, secretary birds, California condors, guanacos, tapirs, capybaras, African lions, jaguars, and of course, elephants!

Looking over that list of animals you might notice that many are not from the same region. Those of you with a discerning eye may even notice that some are from different continents. Thus you may now be asking, “How exactly does this all tie in to the name Elephant Odyssey?”

Good question! I’ll answer that in the next blog post later this week, so keep an eye out for my update! Here’s a hint for you: I open up some of my presentations by saying: “Discover Southern California’s past through the animals of today.”

Rick Schwartz is the San Diego Zoo’s Elephant Odyssey Ambassador.

Read Rick’s previous post, Baby Elephant.

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