Shanti the Asian elephant kicks up dust

Photo: Andrea Pohlman/Smithsonian's National Zoo

Pachyderm's new digs

Shanti, an endangered Asian elephant living at Smithsonian's National Zoo, plays with the sand inside the new, state-of-the-art Elephant Community Center, which is slated to open to the public on March 23.

Dubbed "Elephant Trails," the LEED-Gold certified facility includes an Elephant Barn, an Elephant Community Center, four spacious outdoor animal living spaces and filtered bathing pools. With a total of 8,943 square meters of space, the exhibit is large enough to accommodate up to three separate groups of elephants, including a natural, matriarchal herd and individual bulls.

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Shanti the Asian elephant kicks up dust in new LEED-certified home [Photo]
Endangered elephants at the Smithsonian's National Zoo are kicking back in their new state-of-the-art exhibit.