Arts & Entertainment

LA Zoo opens pachyderm forest exhibit

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One of the first children to see the new elephant exhibit Thursday was 6-year-old Joseph Castellanos.

The little boy’s dad, Jose Castellanos, was pushing two smaller kids in a stroller, as Joseph walked alongside him in a blue fleece jacket.

When asked if the kids wanted to come or if it was Jose's choice, he said, "He wanted to come. He said I wanna go see the elephant.”

“Because I’ve never seen them," said Joseph. Joseph is a home-schooled kindergartener.

"Because I like elephants. Because they’re strong."

The 6-acre exhibit offers nearly 4 acres of roaming space and can hold a dozen elephants. Three live here now: Billy, Jewel and Tina.

Some animal rights activists are suing the zoo; they want to close down the exhibit. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals calls the zoo’s new Pachyderm Forest a monumental waste of $42 million that will do little to improve the lives of elephants.