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New elephant exhibit opens at the Los Angeles Zoo

LOS ANGELES — The state-of-the-art “Elephants of Asia” exhibit, designed for the health, welfare and enjoyment of the elephants, opened December 16 at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

Bathing pools, a waterfall, river sand, sandy hills and varied topography offer plenty of activity for the exhibit’s three new residents: Billy, a 25-year-old male Asian elephant and a long-time resident of the L.A. Zoo, and two female Asian elephants from the San Diego Zoo. Both the females were born in the wild and have been together for nearly 30 years.

The new exhibit features a leading-edge barn that is capable of caring for elephants of all ages.

“Elephants of Asia” will focus on the connection between elephants and the cultures of Thailand, India, China and Cambodia.

Asian elephants are smaller overall than African elephants and have smaller ears. Only the male Asian elephants grow tusks.