So I hear that the Virginia Zoo is sending 2 elephants down to Miami. I visited the Miami Zoo this past July while I was down there for work, and I thought I would give you all my take on the zoo. And as some of you know, I am an Elephant Fan!
The outside and parking lot views of the Zoo would have you thinking the whole place was hurting for money. I was not sure I was going in the main entrance since the walk and signs were small. However, once inside you see that they clearly spent the money on the animal habitats and I'm OK with that.
The layout and amount of space they have is quite large. It is so big that they rent "Safari Cycles" which are 2-4 person bike buggies (see below). They also have African and Asia areas, where they have both kinds of elephants. Virginia Zoo is sending two female African elephants to live with Miami's two females.
Both elephants areas were pretty open, and had some trees and several watering holes. Not as nice a watering hole as BGT, but still a nice place for the elephants to cool off. Below are some pictures of the African habitat and Miami Zoo's elephants.
Here is a layout of the elephant area using Google Satellite Images and the Miami Zoo map. The photos above cam from the bend in the road in the lower right corner.
It's somewhere between 3.5-4 acres by my estimate and from seeing it first had, its pretty good size. About on the same scale as BGT, but entirely open.
So, I think that the Virginia Zoo elephants are in good hands and are going to a location that has a lot of experience dealing with elephants, since they have both Asian and African elephants. The habitat is pretty good size and has good wide open space for them to roam and play. I look forward to visiting them before they go and once they are settled in down in Miami.
The Elephant Stalker (aka Super Spike Fan)