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Despite Lawsuit, New Elephant Exhibit Opening Tomorrow

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The Daily News reports that the controversial $42 million Elephants of Asia exhibit will open this Thursday. Jennie Becker, curator of mammals at the zoo, calls it "an elephant paradise," while John Lewis, general manager of the Los Angeles Zoo, says this new home will be "great for the animals." But opponents, who have filed a lawsuit over the zoo (no trial date is set, according to the News), are still railing against it, as well as the fact that the public is funding the new elephant home. Via the News: "About half of its nearly $42 million cost will be funded by mostly voter-approved bonds and the other half will be raised by the nonprofit Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association.

Naysayers say the 3.8 acres for the zoo's current elephant trio isn't nearly enough room to roam for beasts used to hoofing many miles a day in the wild.

"It's abusive. The zoo should know better," said David Casselman, an attorney whose Tarzana-based firm is handling a lawsuit aiming to shutter the exhibit. "The truth is, they only care about the patrons, not the elephants. And it's a shame."
· New $42M elephant habitat opens Thursday, despite lawsuit [Daily News]
· Amid Lawsuit, LA Zoo Elephant Habitat Goes Forward [Curbed LA]