Elephants dive deep at Zurich zoo

Submarine: an elephant swimming in the new enclosure Keystone
This content was published on June 4, 2014 - 18:58 and agencies

Pachyderms at Zurich’s zoological park will now be able to socialise better thanks a new and bigger enclosure presented on Wednesday. The Kaeng Krachan section of the zoo is six times larger than the old enclosure.

According to the zoo’s director, Alex Rübel, the animals will be able to move around more freely in conditions closer to those found in the wild. The will be also less contact between keepers and the elephants, with humans staying out of the enclosure.

They will be able to communicate with the elephants through special wall openings, improving security and allowing the pachyderms to develop their own social structure.

The animals will be free to roam within their park and decide themselves whether to stay outside or move inside.

They also have access to a special bathing section. As of Saturday, visitors to the zoo will be able to watch the elephants swim through a special observation window similar to those found in aquariums.

The new 11,000-square-metre enclosure, named after a Thai national park and which took three years to build, cost CHF57 million ($64 million) to build, all paid for by private donors.  

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