Los Angeles Zoo’s World Elephant Day Celebration Spotlights Challenges Elephants Face in the Wild

CONTACT: GLAZA Press

July 21, 2017

LOS ANGELES ZOO’S WORLD ELEPHANT DAY CELEBRATION SPOTLIGHTS CHALLENGES ELEPHANTS FACE IN THE WILD AND FEATURES SPECIAL ACTIVITIES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO EXPLORE, LEARN AND SUPPORT THEIR PROTECTION

Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13, 2017
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Photo by Jamie Pham

World Elephant Day, an international spotlight on Asian and African elephants to bring attention to the urgent threat of their extinction, kicks off the Los Angeles Zoo’s World Elephant Day Celebration on Saturday, August 12 and Sunday August 13, 2017, 10 am to 4 pm. The full weekend of opportunities to explore and learn about elephants, especially the challenges they face in the wild, highlight the Zoo’s state-of-the-art Elephants of Asia exhibit with chances to learn about its four elephant residents, including Tina, Jewel, Billy and recently arrived Shaunzi, and how they’re cared for. Fascinating behind-the-scenes barn tours, available to the public only once a year, take place from 11 am to 3 pm each day. A “medical clinic” invites young guests to bring their own toy elephants – or any other animal — for an “examination” to receive a “certificate of health.” Enrichment stations will illustrate how elephants use their trunks as tools, detail African and Asian elephants’ different traits and explain elephant enrichment. Additionally, an Elephants and Sustainable Agriculture station will be staffed by participants in the Zoo’s Duttenhaver Conservation Field Study Program who have just returned from an expedition in Kenya’s Tsavo Conservation Area where they worked with local farmers to implement sustainable agriculture methods. They will share their experiences about innovative efforts to support farmers’ livelihoods while ensuring that humans and elephants are able to peacefully coexist. World Elephant Day Weekend also features conservation crafts; a photo op where guests are encouraged to take an #Elphie; an action station where guests can learn about Zoo-supported elephant conservation efforts and what they can do to help; and more, all free with paid Zoo admission.

The Los Angeles Zoo’s state-of-the-art elephant Elephants of Asia habitat, which opened in December 2010, is the largest habitat in the history of the Zoo. The sprawling exhibit, located at the very heart of the Zoo, is 6.56 acres, with over three acres of outdoor space, deep bathing pools, sandy hills, varied topography, clever enrichment opportunities, and a high-tech barn capable of caring for elephants of all sizes and ages. Elephants of Asia focuses on the rich connection between elephants and the cultures of Thailand, India, China, and Cambodia. The exhibit familiarizes guests with the challenges Asian elephants face in the wild, including their shrinking habitat, and gives visitors the opportunity to directly contribute to conservation programs that support elephants in their native countries.

World Elephant Day Celebration is part of the Zoo’s year-long 50th Anniversary “ZooLAbration.” More information about the Zoo’s 50th Anniversary is available at www.ZooLAbrate50.org.

The yearlong “ZooLAbration” began on November 28, 2016, which is the 50th anniversary of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens’ opening at its current location. Throughout the 50th anniversary year, the Zoo is spotlighting not only its key role as a world-class destination and an important community asset but also its critical successes in conservation, quality of life and premier care for animals. Having recently completed a $172 million master plan which significantly improved the Zoo facility, the Zoo marks its 50th anniversary as it embarks upon developing a new Master Plan, which will serve as a road map for the future. 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, as well as a botanical collection comprising over 800 different plant species with approximately 7,000 individual plants. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), whose members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, the Zoo has achieved renown as an international leader in the preservation of endangered species and a conservation center for the care and study of wildlife. Its responsibility toward wildlife conservation not only encompasses safeguarding the animals in its care but also actively participating in the preservation of some of the world’s most critically endangered species and their habitats. Its many conservation successes include having led the charge in saving California condors from extinction and restoring populations of these critically endangered animals to their native habitats. The Zoo’s lush grounds on 113 acres feature Rainforest of the Americas, an extraordinary collection of endangered and exotic mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians living in spaces that exemplify their natural habitat in the rainforest biosphere; Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, home to one of the largest troops of chimpanzees in the United States; Red Ape Rain Forest, where visitors can walk among orangutans; the LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles); Elephants of Asia; Campo Gorilla Reserve; and one of the largest flocks of flamingos in any zoo in the world. Among other highlights are an extraordinary, hands-on Hippo Encounter and face-to-face Giraffe Feedings; the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo and Muriel’s Ranch animal contact area; the Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel; a variety of daily opportunities to learn more about animals, including close-up visits, special feedings and intriguing talks; and much more. The private, non-profit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), which has supported the Zoo in partnership with the City of Los Angeles for more than five decades and provides funding for and operates seven essential Zoo departments, has 60,000 member households representing more than 240,000 adults and children. As evidence of the Zoo’s popularity, GLAZA attracts one of the largest membership bases of any cultural organization in Los Angeles.

Programing subject to change.

Admission to the Los Angeles Zoo is $20 for general admission (ages 13 to 61); $17 for seniors (ages 62+), and $15 for children (ages 2 to 12)..  No ticket is required for children under 2.  Admission for Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association members is free.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Drive in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park at the junction of the Ventura (134) and Golden State (5) freeways.  Free parking is available.  For additional information about World Elephant Day Weekend, call (323) 644-6001 or visit http://www.lazoo.org/worldelephantday/.  For general information about the Zoo, call (323) 644-4200.