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National Zoo to add 3 elephants from Canada

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Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

A $2 million gift from businessman David Rubenstein will allow the Smithsonian's National Zoo to nearly double the size of its Asian elephant herd.

The zoo announced Aug. 20 that it will receive three female elephants in an open-ended loan from the Calgary Zoo in Canada, which is relocating its elephants to more suitable habitats.

The new elephants will arrive sometime in spring 2014, the zoo announced. They will spend at least 30 days in quarantine before joining the zoo's existing herd of four Asian elephants.

The zoo's elephant habitat reopened in March after a seven-year, $56 million overhaul that nearly tripled the elephants' living space. It can house up to 10 adult elephants and their young and includes a walking trail, sand and rubber floors and a shower the elephants can operate themselves.

— Wire reports

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