It’s been over 40 years since the Sedgwick County Zoo has had new elephants.
All that changed earlier this year when six new elephants arrived in Wichita from Swaziland while riding in style on a 747 jet. Their new home here in our city is part of the Sedgwick County Zoo’s most expensive exhibit ever.
The new exhibit is called the Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley which opened Memorial Day weekend.
This new exhibit which cost over $10 million is the third largest in the country and hosts the largest pool IN THE WORLD for elephants at 550,000 gallons. There is a water cannon for Zookeepers to give elephant-sized showers! There’s an indoor facility to for visitors if the elephants are inside due to temperatures.
I went with my family over the weekend and it is all truly a site to behold.
Everybody who came and saw the new exhibit awed at the 5 acres of beauty put together by the zoo.
The six new elephants will be the start of the breeding group to help protect and grow the species. They will join the current elephant, Stephanie, who has been at the zoo for 42 years. A total of 17 elephants came to the United States. I read that the elephants that came here from Swaziland make up almost half of the total elephant population in that country. Before the transfer there were only 39 there. Unbelievable.
This is really an exhibit everybody should check out. I ran into friends there that were wowed by it and then my nieces who I’m not sure really sure knew what was going on or the magnitude of the exhibit. Their comments included, “Where are the kangaroos?”, “The elephant has a big butt” and “Can we go play on the playground equipment?”
One thing they really took in was one of the staff who was teaching them about poaching and tusks. It was the first time all day they were glued in on one thing, were silent and taking everything in.
I’ve included more pictures and some videos from the exhibit. If you have kids, if you don’t have kids, if you need a way to spend the day, if you want to see something cool, if you want to see something new, definitely go see the Elephants of the Zambezi River Valley.
One thing to be aware is they will try to coerce you into buying inflatables for children outside of the zoo. I’m such a sucker……………
Pictures and videos of the exhibit: