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New Zoo Looks
Photo: Marc Navarro
Zoological parks have been part of the culture of many cities. Though many zoos date back decades, new habitats are being constructed to better reflect the area from which the animals originate.

For instance, elephants will be moving from the Philadelphia Zoo to other zoos. Surrounded by buildings, highways, and heavily traveled train tracks, there is no room to create a representative setting for the pachyderms. With their departure, there will be more room to expand other habitats.

New Home for Giant Pandas

In mid-October the National Zoo opened its new Asia Trail, an expansion project that cost $53 million. The trail provides a new home for the giant pandas as well as six acres of new homes for six threatened or endangered species. It features interactive elements such as a sloth bear claw and a model of a newborn panda cub.

Along the trail, visitors will see giant pandas (China), red pandas (Himilayas), fishing cats (South and Southeast Asia), sloth bears (India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal) and termite mounds with feeding tubes from which the sloth bears eat, clouded leopards (Himilayas and China), Asian small-clawed otters (South Asia coastal areas), and Japanese Giant Salamanders.

Zoos help us better understand the world in which we live and better appreciate the wonders of nature. When was the last time you visited a zoo?

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