Denver, CO (PRWEB) August 31, 2013
He’s out! Billy, the much anticipated new resident of Denver Zoo’s new Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit, can now be seen by guests.
“Billy has cleared a mandatory quarantine and with a full clean bill of health, he ventured outside for the first time today. The Denver community has been asking about him regularly. I know they will fall in love at first sight,” says Denver Zoo Director of Communications Tiffany Barnhart.
Denver Zoo imported a male Asian elephant from the Antwerpen Zoo in Belgium in late June. The five-year-old elephant will support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan with valuable genetics as he is not closely related to any elephants in the U.S. The young bull is the third bull in the zoo's newest exhibit, Toyota Elephant Passage, a $50-million state-of-the-art animal habitat.
"Denver Zoo is proud to take a leadership role in the management of multiple male elephants to support the long-term vitality of Asian elephants in zoo settings. This encourages breeding programs at all zoos while providing an excellent home for elephants," says Denver Zoo Vice President for Animal Care Brian Aucone.
This elephant was born Feb. 17, 2008 at Dublin Zoo weighing 176 pounds. Denver Zoo took numerous measures to ensure the elephant's safe transport back to the United States. To prepare for the elephant's arrival, one zookeeper, one assistant curator, the area curator, two veterinarians, the vice president for animal care and one communications staff member flew in advance to Antwerpen Zoo. One zookeeper arrived more than a month in advance to spend bond with Billy and learn his routine. Two veterinarians and two elephant keepers then accompanied Billy on his flight to the U.S. Billy arrived via truck in Amsterdam and took a direct flight with the four-member caretaking team to Denver.
About Denver Zoo: Denver Zoo is home to 3,600 animals representing more than 600 species and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA accreditation assures the highest standards of animal care.
A leader in environmental action, Denver Zoo is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the environment in support of all species and is the first U.S. zoo to receive ISO 14001 certification for the entire facility and operations. This international certification ensures the zoo is attaining the highest environmental standards.
Since 1996, Denver Zoo has participated in 594 conservation projects in 62 countries on all seven continents. In 2012 alone, Denver Zoo participated in 98 projects in 18 countries and more than $1 million in funds was spent by the zoo in support of animal conservation in the field.