Zoo Plans Elephant Facility Expansion for Future Growth
Elephants Will Temporarily Leave During Construction
Nashville Zoo is taking steps now to eventually grow the Zoo’s African elephant herd. The expansion includes additions to the elephant facilities and installation of state-of-the-art equipment.
“Our vision is to have a growing herd to ensure generations of visitors will see and experience elephants for years to come,” Zoo President Rick Schwartz said. “Nashville Zoo's commitment to providing the best care to our animals has led us to begin planning and designing improvements to our elephant facilities and program.”
As part of the planning and preparation, Juno, a 36-year-old African elephant, was recently relocated to live at The National Elephant Center in Fellsmere, FL. Eventually the Zoo’s other three female African elephants will join Juno at TNEC while the Zoo makes important changes to accommodate more elephants, including a bull.
Because the Zoo is in the planning and design phase, an exact timeline for completing the project is not yet determined. The end result will be tremendous for the Zoo’s elephants and for the future of this species at Nashville Zoo.
“Our elephants are a popular feature at Nashville Zoo, and I’m sure they will be missed not just by visitors but by our staff,” says Schwartz. “They will have the company of two other African elephants living at TNEC that are owned by Disney. The 225-acre facility and experienced staff are excellent, and we know that our elephants will be well cared for during this transition.”
Nashville Zoo is among more than 70 AZA-accredited zoos that supported the construction of The National Elephant Center, which is designed to assist zoos in herd management including providing the flexibility of off-site, professional elephant care during renovations or herd transitions. More information about TNEC can be found at NationalElephantCenter.org.
Nashville Zoo is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. Attracting more than 830,000 visitors annually, the Zoo is considered one of the top things to do in Nashville. The Zoo is a non-profit organization located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership. For more information about Nashville Zoo, call 615-833-1534 or visit www.nashvillezoo.org.