DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver Zoo’s Asian Tropics habitat promises to be unlike any other animal enclosure in the world.

The $50 million project is half done. It will be able to house eight male Asian elephants. They will be the largest group of their kind in one habitat.

The 10-acre site will have a bridge where the elephants and other animals can walk directly over the visitor’s bridge. Other residents will include rhinos, leopards and flying foxes.

The zoo will educate guests about the struggle between elephants and people in the wild. It will also test methods like solar powered electric fences designed to minimize conflicts in Asia.

“We want a future for these animals in the world and one of the key issues throughout Asia is that the animals face challenges because they have conflicts with people. For us conservation is all about helping people because that’s how you help animals,” Craig Piper the Denver Zoo president said.

The zoo plans to use biomass gasification, which will put about 90 percent of all waste to work generating energy for animal enclosures.

The exhibit is slated to open in the spring of 2012.


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