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Giant Crates & Cranes Move Denver Zoo Elephants To New Exhibit

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Elephants move into their new home at the Denver Zoo (credit: CBS)

Elephants move into their new home at the Denver Zoo (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- Elephants Mimi and Dolly are getting used to their new home. They moved into the Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit on Thursday.

They had to get into giant crates which were then picked up by cranes and placed on trucks which transported them to their new home.

Mimi and Dolly were trained to get into the crates during the summer and fall months.

The new exhibit is a 10-acre space featuring six interconnected habitats and more than 100 gated passageways. The elephant bedrooms within the Clayton F. Frieheit Elephant House are approximately twice the size of the rooms in which Mimi and Dolly were previously housed.

“I know they will be so happy in their new home. Our staff is elated to see this happen,” said Denver Zoo Vice President for Animal Collections Brian Aucone. “It’s the best thing for them.”

The elephant passage is designed to house up to 12 elephants and can house up to eight bull or male elephants. No other zoo habitat has the capability to accommodate that many males. It was designed to support zoo breeding programs by providing needed space for bull elephants.

Although construction on the new exhibit will be complete by the end of 2011, ample time for staff training and animal acclimation is planned before the exhibit opens to the public in late spring 2012.

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