Elephants take long road from Calgary to DC zoo

first_imgWASHINGTON — It was going to be a long trip, so the zookeepers packed well: 24 bales of hay, 200 pounds of grain and 10 bags of wood shavings, because there would be no restroom stops.They also brought a case of cantaloupes, a case of watermelons and 130 gallons of water. Oh, and two popcorn blowers as keepsakes.At the start of the Memorial Day weekend, the Smithsonian National Zoo’s 60-hour, 2,400-mile elephant road trip ended in Washington on Friday morning after touching two countries, nine states and three time zones.The convoy, which included the zoo’s three new Asian elephants on two flatbed tractor-trailers, plus two RVs for staff, rolled down Connecticut Avenue and into the zoo compound at 10:55 a.m.It had left the zoo in Calgary, Alberta, on Tuesday afternoon.The journey was kept somewhat secret for security reasons, the National Zoo said, and a large part of the zoo was closed off Friday as the elephants were unloaded.“Unloading elephants is logistically very challenging and demanding,” said zoo spokeswoman Pamela Baker-Masson.The job was not completed until about 4:30 p.m. The zoo said the elephants can now be spotted on the new stationary elephant cam, if they wander into its focus. (Go to Nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/webcams.)last_img read more