$500K facelift set for Zoo's elephant habitat - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

$500K facelift set for Zoo's elephant habitat

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

A $500,000 facelift is set to get underway that will upgrade the Memphis Zoo's elephant pavilion.

A dry moat that surrounds the habitat will be filled in by construction workers for safety of the three African elephants, a zoo spokesperson said.

After the upgrades, the elephants will be closer to park visitors, though there still will be a boundary between the public and the elephants.

Two demonstration platforms will also be installed during the upgrade. The platforms will allow zookeepers to groom the elephants' feet and bathe the animals in the visitors' viewing areas.

"We are going to put in a couple of demonstration stations, which will actually bring the animals closer to the public and let our zookeepers kind of let the animals meet the public a little closer," said Matt Thompson, Memphis Zoo Director of Animal Programs.

"The elephants will be able to stretch their legs a little and walk around a little more," he added.

The upgrades are expected to be complete by the end of August or early September.

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