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San Diego Zoo Safari Park Announces Groundbreaking ‘Elephant Valley’ Project



Source: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has started building the most significant and groundbreaking project in the history of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. The Denny Sanford Elephant Valley will revolutionize the core of the Safari Park, transforming the existing elephant habitat into an energetic savanna and an area for adventure. Elephant Valley will enable visitors of all ages to engage with elephants in a whole new way, promoting more empathy, comprehension, and admiration for these magnificent creatures – and sparking a love for wildlife.
Guests will be surrounded by elephants on multiple sides, including an overhead walkway providing views of the herd passing through. They will learn about the important role elephants play as ecosystem engineers and their complex social dynamics. Elephant Valley offers new insight into San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s leadership in wildlife conservation while showcasing the organization’s partnerships and celebrating the vibrant cultures and local communities where people and elephants coexist.
“We are thrilled to announce Denny Sanford Elephant Valley—a first-of-its-kind immersive experience for visitors, to further connect the vital work happening here in San Diego to the collaborative elephant conservation initiatives we support in the field,” Paul A. Baribault, president and chief executive officer, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, shared in a press release “Elephant Valley could not be achieved without the incredible community, donors, members and allies who support us and make all our conservation work possible with partners around the world.”
In the heart of Elephant Valley, a two-story lodge will serve as the heart of the guest experience. It takes inspiration from the destinations that travelers frequent during African safaris. This gathering place will offer the chance to learn from educators about the breathtaking wildlife of the region while also providing a view of elephants swimming in the large watering holes. The plant life in Elephant Valley will reflect the African grasslands’ sights, sounds, and scents. The expansive new habitat will offer exciting new experiences for the elephant herd by incorporating innovative features that mimic the seasonal changes and closely resemble the African savanna all year long.
“Elephants across Africa are facing immense challenges, which require all of us to collaborate and find sustainable conservation solutions for elephants and people,” explained Nadine Lamberski, DVM, chief conservation and wildlife health officer, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “We are eager to witness the impact Elephant Valley will have on our continued elephant conservation efforts globally.”