Mon, 16 May 2011 22:53:45 GMT — As Syracuse's elephant expansion is just about done, some big changes are coming to the Asian Elephant program, which is called the 'crown jewel' of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.The Asian Elephant Preserve is just about done. $1.6 million of its cost is coming through Friends of the Zoo fundraising, and they are at 60% of their target. The new facilities include an improved open-air roaming area, and a place where visitors can also watch what goes on inside the elephant building. It will mean that zoo goers will watch more than one or two elephants out at the same time.Three of the Syracuse Zoo's elephants, Targa, her daughter Mali, and Mali's baby son Little Chuck, have been at a preserve in Canada while the work here is being done, and the zoo campaign to pay for their transportation costs home is at 75% of its goal of $10 a mile for the 720 miles. Friends of the Zoo head Janet Agostini says 535 miles are covered. It will actually be two trips, one for Targa, and one for Mali and Son---and will happen when the permitting is done for the trip.Little Chuck will only stay here for a short time--as he matures it's tough to have two male elephants in the same facility (Indy is the resident bull), but Zoo Director Chuck Doyle expects lots of visitors to see him this summer, while he's here.And, the physical expansions mean more elephants can be housed at Syracuse's zoo: they will have approval for 12--counting Little Chuck, there are only 7 now, which means the prospects of more babies coming soon.
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