Lone Star Adventure: Savanna Anniversary - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Lone Star Adventure: Savanna Anniversary

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The Dallas Zoo is celebrating the first anniversary of a ground breaking exhibit that's winning widespread acclaim and helping shatter attendance records. In this week's Lone Star Adventure FOX 4's Richard Ray takes us to the Dallas Zoo and its Giants of the Savanna.

The Dallas Zoo has hosted 850,000 visitors since its Giants of the Savanna exhibit opened. That's 170,000 more than any other twelve-month period in the Zoo's history.

The exhibit is home to twelve giraffes, six elephants and a growing number of mingled species. The animals roam a beautifully landscaped eleven-acre enclosure in the shadow of downtown Dallas.

The exhibit is winning widespread acclaim, even from one-time critics who not long ago were demanding the Zoo give up what was then its last surviving elephant. Jon Wassner, whose Best Zoos in America books and rankings are the industry gold standard, writes that Giants of the Savanna "sets a new bar... Seeing a herd of six elephants in person mingling with other plains creatures is a one of a kind Dallas only experience in America."

Dr. Laurie Marker is founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund and based in Africa. Marker called Giants of the Savanna one of the best in the world. She gives high marks to the Zoo for its efforts to learn from the animals and to adapt accordingly.

The Zoo continues to add to Giants of the Savanna. It's a juggling act that enhancing the visitor experience while still concentrating on animal husbandry. The giraffe exhibit has been so popular that the zoo has implemented crowd control measures. The mingling of different species has been a gradual process, with the animals and their reactions largely dictating what new directions the Zoo takes.

For more information about the Dallas Zoo and Giants of the Savanna please visit their website.

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