Zoo Director John Lewis Invites Media Behind the Scenes at Elephants of Asia

CONTACT: April Spurlock

April 18, 2017

L.A. Zoo’s Animal Care and Veterinary Experts to Discuss Exceptional Elephant Management Program – Tuesday, April 18 at 8:30 a.m.

Billy the Elephant in Pool

LOS ANGELES – The L.A. Zoo is inviting media to the Elephants of Asia habitat to take a closer look at our three Asian elephants (Billy, Tina, and Jewel), tour the state-of-the-art facility, and have questions answered by Zoo representatives. Much has been said about the Zoo’s elephant program, including persistent misinformation and inaccuracies as it specifically relates to our male Asian elephant, Billy. It is important that accurate and factual information about our program be shared so that the public understands why the L.A. Zoo is an excellent home for these elephants.

The L.A. Zoo opened its state-of-the-art Elephants of Asia habitat in December 2010. The largest habitat in the history of the Zoo, Elephants of Asia occupies “center stage” on our campus, at the very heart of the Zoo. The sprawling exhibit is 6.56 acres, with over three acres of outdoor space, deep bathing pools, a waterfall, sandy hills, varied topography, clever enrichment opportunities, and a high tech barn capable of caring for elephants of all sizes and ages. The facility greatly exceeds the standards set out by California Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The AZA Accreditation Inspection Visiting Team documented in their December 2016 report to the Accreditation Commission, “All aspects of the Los Angeles Zoo’s elephant program continue to display practices and features consistent with modern, professional elephant exhibit design, care, welfare, and management.” The Zoo was awarded AZA Accreditation for another five years beginning March 2017.

About the Los Angeles Zoo
Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the landmark Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, drawing nearly 1.8 million visitors each year, is home to a diverse collection of 1,100 animals representing 250 different species, many of which are rare or endangered. Its lush grounds on 113 acres feature a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. The Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways. Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 2 to 12. The Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information, call (323) 644-4200 or visit the L.A. Zoo Web site at www.lazoo.org.