Photo Release: Smithsonian's National Zoo's Elephant Explores New Yard

As part of her acclimation to her new home, Shanthi, a 34-year-old female Asian elephant at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, explored her grassy “lower” yard yesterday for the first time. She happily drank from the new pool too. Throughout the summer, elephant keepers are gradually introducing the Zoo’s three elephants to different areas in the new Elephant Trails exhibit. All three elephants should be comfortable and transitioned to the exhibit before Labor Day weekend when Phase I opens to the public. Visitors can follow the elephants’ progress on the Zoo’s website at