Dallas Zoo officials hope the $30 million Giants of Savanna exhibit will help tranform the zoo's sometimes troubled reputation.
Zoo officials gave local media representatives a tour of the 11-acre exhibit that will soon be home to a slew of animals.
"Its definitely one of the largest exhibits in the country. We'll be able to combine elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, ostriches and so forth," said Dr. Lynn Kramer, the Deputy Director for Animal Conservation and Science for the Dallas Zoo. "Those animals have never been exhibited together before."
The exhibit is still under construction, but zoo officials spared no expense to make the exhibit as realistic as possible with as much state-of-the-art techonology. A new elephant barn will feature two kinds of floors for elephants. One part will feature seven feet of dirt, the other, cushioned, heated floors specially made for elephants sensitive feet.
Outdoors, the techonology continues.
"There will be a wobble tree that the elephants can push and deliver food to themselves. They can pull on a cable -- give themselves a shower," said Kramer.
The habitat is the most ambitious project the zoo has undertaken since 1990.
"Once this is open, it will be one of the most comprehensive African exhibits in the country," said Kramer.
The habitat is on schedule to open on May 28, the first day of Memorial Day weekend.