It’s true. Things are done BIG in Texas! ‘Giants of the Savanna’.
“Everything’s Bigger in Texas!”
This statement can be taken two ways. It can correlate to the size of something or it can correlate to the showmanship or pizzazz of something. In this case, it’s totally the latter as it’s applicable to the pride and joy of one of the top zoos in the nation…the Dallas Zoo.
Within each zoo you will find many different habitats. They are man-made developed areas used for the purpose of creating a life-like experience in the wild for particular types of animals. A dolphin would be living in a huge water based area surrounded by fish that it would normally live with if not in captivity.
Similar to this concept, the Dallas Zoo creators designed the ‘Giants of the Savanna’, which has been named as the 3rd BEST Zoo Habitat in the Nation – the best in Texas – in USA Today’s 10 Best Travel Rankings.
What a huge accomplishment!
Created as one of the first initiatives in 2010, by the newly privatized ownership, the Dallas Officials invested over $30 Mmillion into the habitat that stretches over 11 acres and it only took less than 18 months to complete. With its completion has come rave reviews stating that now the Dallas Zoo is pushing the envelope and going beyond the norm for a zoo.
Gary Lee, is one of the hired zoo managers and the chief designer of the ‘Giants of the Savanna’ Habitat. He says, “We wanted to create interactions between animals and people that were planned and at the same time spontaneous…We want people to come back several times and see different things. It won’t be the same experience twice.”
Here are the main reasons why we love the ‘Giants of the Savanna’ …
Reason #1 – It’s One-of-a-kind.
It’s the only habitat in the nation where giraffes, ostriches, elphants, impalas and guineafowl all co-habitat together just like they would in Africa.
Reason #2 – The experience of the wild. Complete Interaction.
1 million people visit the Dallas Zoo exach year and all of them want to see active animals as how they would interact in the wild. This can be tricky because most people visit the zoo in the afternoon, but most animals are active in the morning. To counteract this predicament and through a lot of studying, they realized that they needed to create an “inducement,” which in this situation was food. With the right placement and timing, people will be able to see how elephants will react when there is food with the given amount of a sense of urgency and compeition. Fish are strategically released at certain times so that eagles can fly over the the elephants and swoop down to catch a fish. They will then eat the fish while standing at the base of a waterfall. This in itself is a major additive to the experience.
Reason #3 – A Famous Home.
It is home to the 5 famous “Golden Girls” elephants as well as a 13-member giraffe herd and the former home of the Animal Planet star Kipenzi. This giraffe is the first one to born, while filmed and documented live online, but unfortunately she passed in a sudden accident after she was just 3 months old.
Her name is Swahili for “loved one.”
Reason #4 – Multiple Habitats
There are also separate habitats within the Giants of the Savanna that serve as homes for the African Lions, cheetahs, warthogs and red river hogs. Visitors can interact with the the employees at feeding stations via radio communication.
Reason #5 – 24 Hour Facility with Realistic Exhibits.
They rent out spaces for social or corporate events. There are organized sleepovers for children’s groups, with a fire pit for roasting. A special glass wall in the predators exhibit so that it looks like your child is driving a vintage Land Rover with a cheetah riding in the back.
Reason #6 – Education Area.
It’s a place set up for families to learn about the aniamals. It’s air conditioned with comfortable chairs and you can even purchase lettuce leaves to feed the giraffes. Note that the lettus is probably the most expensive lettuce you will ever buy!
Gregg Hudson, who is the president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Zoo, says “The Giants of the Savanna was a game-changer for our zoo….it’s become an international model for huan care of elephants and giraffes.” The Dallas Zoo is the oldest and largest zoo in Texas and has been named 3 separate times as one of the “Best U.S. Zoos” as well as the “Best in the World.”
Although the rest of the Dallas zoo is a bit dated, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be impressed by the splendor of the ‘Giants of the Savanna.”