Louisville Zoo planning to make elephant exhibit bigger, safer - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Zoo planning to make elephant exhibit bigger, safer

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Big changes are coming to a big exhibit at the Louisville Zoo as they look to spend $3 million to renovate the elephant display.

The elephants are no doubt the largest attraction at the Louisville Zoo, but now big changes are coming to the way the zoo displays the elephants.

"We're really excited. We're going to be making a lot of great changes to our elephant exhibit," said Louisville Zoo Director John Walczak.

The plans will almost double the size of the display. 

"We've got a lot of amenities for the elephants that we're looking forward to continuing to grow and space is one of them," said Walczak.

The Zoo will also add an access wall to allow trainers to more closely interact with the elephants without getting inside their space.

"It will give us a chance to work with the elephants and not share the space so that the keeper and the animal are more comfortable," said Walczak.

It will also allow zoo patrons to more easily see the trainers at work.

"That would be really cool because right now I feel like I'm kind of far away from them, and I don't really like the metal cage that's around here," said zoo patron Michael McClain.

The changes are being made, in part, because of new standards by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums..

"There have been changes to the AZA's elephant standards, and they will continue to evolve. We're continuing to advance the profession so our standards will always grow," said Walczak.

The Zoo is in the process of raising the funds needed to do the upgrade. The exhibit will remain open during construction.

Officials say they hope to have the new exhibit finished in 16 months.

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