This weekend, the National Zoo opens up Phase I of Elephant Trails, the recently completed home for the Zoo's Asian elephants. Visitors will be able to watch the elephants exploring their home, which includes a new elephant barn, two outdoor yards, and the Elephant Exercise Trek.
A new outpost, the Homer and Martha Gudelsky Elephant Outpost, will be available to the public for the first time this weekend. Elephant demonstrations will also be visible from this outpost at a future date. For now, while you're visiting the real live elephants at the Outpost, you can also see the three life-size "willow" elephants - stainless steel and willow branch sculptures by U.K. topiary artist Steve Manning. There are also three life-size elephant portraits, which helps visitors see in detail a real Asian elephant's wrinkles, hair, and skin texture.
If you go, take some photos and let us know what you think!