lehcar1477, Flickr

The City of New Bedford's five year plan to spend $43 million on repairs to city buildings includes upgrading the home of elephants Ruth and Emily at the Buttonwood Park Zoo. 

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced details of the plan on Friday.  It calls for the City to spend $600,000 to expand the elephant habitat to more that triple its current size, within the current boundaries of the zoo. 

Zoo officials say there are no plans to replace Emily or Ruth when they die, but the enlarged area could then be used for other large animals.

The spending must be approved by the City Council's Finance Committee and the full Council before it can move forward.