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Twycross Zoo’s Asian Elephants Are Leaving

Scientific Name: Elephas Maximus

Our elephants are on the move…

Twycross Zoo’s all-female elephant herd are leaving for a new home. Their new home will be at Blackpool Zoo and will allow the herd to breed naturally with a bull elephant. This will ensure the long-term survival of this beautiful, endangered species.

Although our facilities are amongst the best in the world, and are suited to house an all-female herd, we cannot accommodate an adult male elephant. Elephants are highly social creatures and the latest research has shown us that having a bull in their herd mix is vital for their well-being.

We are working in conjunction with European Endangered Species Breeding Programmes (EEP) to ensure our elephants are going to a zoo where they will continue to have the best facilities and care, as well as the opportunity to breed.

All of our elephants will be together in Blackpool and will accompany Kate already at their new home.

How will we move the elephants?

Our elephants will be moved via specially designed elephant transport crates. To ensure this happens with as little stress as possible, our elephants and expert keepers are working on positive reinforcement training so that the elephants will go in and out of their crates happily in preparation for their journey to their new home.

When will they move?

Ultimately, the elephants will only move when we are happy that they are confident with the crates and the process and the receiving zoo is completely ready.

Latest Ele News

Twycross Zoo’s R-ele Smooth Move

Twycross Zoo’s much loved Tara is the first of her herd to make the journey to Blackpool Zoo’s new Project Elephant.

Following twelve months of elephant led training and meticulous planning by the Twycross Zoo conservation team, Tara was safely transported to the seaside on a specially created steel crate, last Tuesday.

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Twycross Zoo Elephants are moving two-by-two to Blackpool Zoo

After careful consideration and discussions with elephant experts, the EEP and Eaza, we are pleased to announce that our all-female herd of Asian elephants – Minbu, Noorjahan, Tara and Esha – will move two-by-two to Blackpool Zoo by Spring 2018.

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Zoo Keeper Diaries

Twycross Zoo’s dedicated elephant keepers have been blogging about their work with the elephants for their upcoming move.

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Our Elephants

Discover more about our girls – Minbu, Tara, Noorjahan and Esha. All have very different characters just like us!

Find Out Who's Who

For all media and press enquiries email

About Asian Elephants

Asian elephants are smaller in size than their African relatives and have smaller, angular ears. Only male Asian elephants will grow tusks.

Female elephants live in herds with their offspring and are led by a matriarchal female. The matriarch will lead the herd to the best places for food and water. Once mature, males leave the herd and either live alone or form small bachelor herds with other males.

Asian elephants breed, on average, seven times during their lifetime with intervals of between four and six years between births. After mating the female is pregnant for almost two years. The calf will then suckle for up to three years. If it is a female it will remain in the group for its lifetime.

Elephants are the largest herbivorous animals in the world. Their diet consists mainly of grasses, trees, leaves and shrubs. Their four big grinding teeth are strong enough to bite through logs! These teeth are crucial to consume all the vegetation an elephant eats – so, unlike us, they cannot lose baby teeth to get a new set. Instead their teeth grow in sections which can break off gradually. An Asian elephant will have six sets of teeth throughout its lifetime.

Asian elephants are critically-endangered in the wild, where they are threatened by illegal hunting and habitat destruction. Captive breeding of this species by zoos helps to ensure that there are genetically healthy, self-sustaining populations which can act as insurance against the possible future loss of wild populations.


Key Facts:

  • Conservation Status: Endangered
  • Distribution: Southern East Asia
  • Habitat: Coniferous & Broadleaf Forests, Grassland, Tropical Forest
  • Diet: Grasses, Leaves
  • Height: 3 metres
  • Weight: 2500 – 5000kg
  • Gestation: 18 – 23 months
  • No. of young: 1
  • Life Span: 60 years


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