FORT WORTH, Texas — The largest land animals in the world just got a large, new exhibit at the Fort Worth Zoo.
The zoo unveiled Elephant Springs Thursday, a new habitat built by Fort Worth-based engineering and design firm Dunaway. The habitat features a 400,000-gallon river, a water tower and many other water features.
The new exhibit is almost triple the size of the previous elephant habitat. That size and the water features mean that zoo guests can get a little more up close and personal with the Asian elephant herd at the zoo, Dunaway CEO Chris Wilde said.
"There's not much separation between the visitor and the elephants. You can get pretty close," he said.
The expansion will also help the zoo's breeding program, the zoo said in a statement.
Elephant Springs is phase two of the Fort Worth Zoo’s four-part, $100 million Wilder Vision renovation campaign that started in 2016. Dunaway has partnered with the zoo since 1999.
The Asian elephant herd at the zoo currently consists of seven elephants: Rasha, Angel, Bluebonnet, Belle, Romeo, Colonel and Bowie. The oldest, Rasha, was born in 1973 and the youngest, Bowie, was born at the zoo in 2013.