Denver Zoo buries time capsule in Asian Tropics, new elephant and tapir exhibit

When it's finished in the spring of 2012, Asian Tropics, the Denver Zoo's ambitious new exhibit, will be home to elephants, rhinos, leopards, flying foxes, fishing cats, otters, gibbons, tapirs and... a time capsule made by middle-schoolers.

What will zoo patrons of the future (read: robots) think in 2036 when they unearth a piece of white PVC piping filled with a lion made of Play-Doh?

Robot 1: "Oooh, Play-Doh! Even after 25 years, it still tastes salty and delicious!"

Robot 2: "Amen, brother!"

Lame jokes aside, the time capsule also contains a Denver Zoo carousel token, a pencil, zoo passes, letters to the future and a photo of the sixty middle-school-aged campers who made it last summer at zoo camp. Several of them were on hand Saturday to bury the capsule inside Asian Tropics. For more on Asian Tropics, check out the Westword feature, "Caution! A herd of bull elephants is coming to the Denver Zoo."

The time capsule ritual was part of the zoo's World Tapir Day celebration. Tapirs, three foot-tall, pig-like animals who love to swim, will one day live in the exhibit.Meanwhile, the zoo's two real-live, non-cardboard tapirs, female Rinny and male Benny (who have been paired together to, um, make more tapirs), celebrated World Tapir Day the only way tapirs know how: by snuggling. More from our News archives: "Denver Zoo orangutan with breathing problems better at grooming (& sex?) with new treatment."

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