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      Renee and Lucas the elephants play in new exhibit

      The Toledo Zoo's 32-year-old African elephant, Renee, and her calf, Lucas, are settling into their new digs and dynamic elephant exhibit, Tembo Trail. The exhibit is slated to open on Friday, May 18.

      The sand stall is just one feature of Tembo Trail, which blends extraordinary animal care with extraordinary visitor experiences.

      "Tembo Trail offers nearly limitless enrichment opportunities for our elephants," Dr. Anne Baker, executive director, said. "With its fresh new design, Tembo Trail provides the animals with even more opportunities to stay active ?? along with even more choices about how they spend their days."

      Internationally recognized elephant expert Alan Roocroft rates Tembo Trail as one of the world??s top elephant exhibits in terms of its use of "vertical space." This refers to the extensive use of enrichment trees, walls and overhead feeders which encourage the elephants to move, stretch and explore. Many of these features are changeable at the touch of a button, enabling keepers to make frequent changes and offer the animals an ever-changing environment.

      The $15 million Tembo Trail project was made possible by Lucas County??s voters, who supported the zoo's 2006 capital levy, and by generous capital campaign donors. As the grand opening approaches, ongoing updates will be shared at www.toledozoo.org/tembotrail.