Slideshow: Toyota Elephant Passage at Denver Zoo

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Denver Zoo managers gave the media its first look inside the state-of-the-art Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit on Thursday. The exhibit opens to the public on June 1.

From the Zoo:

In today’s tour of the elephant building, Zookeepers explained how the exhibit is designed to provide animals with extensive choices for daily activity. The indoor quarters for the animals are also designed for creature comforts. The Clayton F. Freiheit Elephant House has a unique system which enables zookeepers to change the flooring material inside the building. Sand or soil can be moved in and out of the elephant bedrooms and communal parlor area, providing soft surfaces that can be replaced for cleanliness. This is a valuable tool to ensure the best in foot care for these large pachyderms. The barn also features a self-activated shower in the parlor area where elephants can choose to have a rinse by pushing a button with their trunks. The building also has two elephant care systems that are used to stabilize animals for veterinary procedures. One of the devices can even tilt a full-grown elephant onto its side safely for examinations and procedures. Zookeepers can also train and examine elephants using a special “working wall,” which has small doors on various points that can be opened to give zookeepers access to different parts of the animal.

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