COLORADO SPRINGS — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo does a lot to care and look out for animals in need, and they take extra steps for their elephants.
FOX21’s Chief Meteorologist Matt Meister spoke with Rachel Wright, the Social Media and Public Relations Manager for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and found out what they do to care for the Zoo’s six African elephants.
“This is one of my favorite parts of the zoo, I love talking about our Elephant Care Center. Not a lot of people know that our six African elephants are all considered aging… and we refer to them as our ‘golden girls,’ so six ‘golden girls’ here in their golden years with us,” said Wright.
According to Wright, the African elephants receive specialized care after the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo recognized the need many years ago for a place to care for and look after aging elephants.
“The Wilgruen Elephant Center here in Encounter Africa, has specialized care, so things like rubberized floors in their barn, different kinds of substrates, really the whole set-up is designed to keep these girls moving,” said Wright.
According to Wright, the elephants also participate in elephant yoga, which are specialized and custom routines that the elephants voluntarily participate in with their keepers.
“And, it’s things like stretching their trunks up, holding their legs up at different angles and different lengths of time, and it’s really just so they can maintain that mobility,” said Wright.
Another option for visitors to participate in, is the elephant feedings which according to Wright, happen twice daily through the summer months. All visitors need to do is get their advance tickets to the zoo and get in line for the feedings. The first feeding begins at 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and the second is from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“I say get in line early, because these are really popular and we do have to stick to that strict schedule. These are paid experiences, they are $10 to $15 per bundle of produce, but it’s a life-changing experience. Also, the $10 to $15 per feeding, goes toward our conservation partner called Tsavo Trust in Kenya,” said Wright.
To learn more about the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s conservation efforts and the African elephants, you can read more here.