We are starting to see how fabulous Elephant Odyssey at the San Diego Zoo really is. The elephants are doing pretty well (see previous post, Elephants: A New Beginning). Tembo hasn’t lain down at night yet, but Devi and Sumithi are doing so, and I am guessing they are getting some sleep. We know this because when we go out to clean the yard in the mornings, we find elephant body prints in the dirt. We are even able to tell the prints apart: which one was made by Sumithi and which one by Devi. I am sure it won’t be too much longer before a Tembo print appears.
The elephants are having a great time exploring their new exhibit. All of the new sights and sounds keep their attention. But that doesn’t stop them from heading to the Elephant Care Center in the afternoon when they know that it is supper time. They have taken to the new pool, although very slowly. Devi has gone for a swim, while Tembo and Sumithi are happy to wade in and splash water on themselves.
You will be happy to know that we have continued to walk all three of them along a walking path at the back edge of their exhibit. It is hard to see from the public view, but if you notice the back of an elephant strolling back and forth, then chances are they are on a walk.
Ranchipor, Mary, Cookie, and Cha Cha are making strides. It is a huge change for them from life at the Wild Animal Park, and all of the new sights, sounds, and smells can be a bit overwhelming at times. The combined Zoo and Park elephant care staff are working hard to acclimate the elephants to their new home. We have even started to walk Cha Cha a little bit, and she seems to like it. At any time during the day you may see them inside the Care Center getting their pedicures. The elephants get their feet soaked at least once a day, their feet scrubbed and toe nails trimmed. You may see the vets here as they get used to their new charges. This is the beauty of Elephant Odyssey, as we have everything right here for our visitors to see and witness.
I invite you out to get an up-close-and-personal look at Elephant Odyssey. Come see the interactions that take place—they don’t just include the elephant area. We also have our corral area where you can pet Mo, our handsome horse, or the burros, llamas, or even the young camels. We hope to have our cat exhibits up and running by the end of the month, so I recommend coming often to the Zoo so you can see all the changes and happenings.
Did I mention the rattlesnakes, frogs, turtles, and lizards? They are there, too, along with what I think might be one of the coolest exhibits (after the elephants, of course!): the California condors.
Look for me at Elephant Odyssey and say hi!
Ron Ringer is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo.