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.
Earlier this year, we announced that our elephants would be moving to another zoo to allow the animals to breed, to help to ensure the long-term survival of this endangered species.
After a recent visit to Blackpool Zoo our animal team were very impressed with their state-of-the-art facility, known as Project Elephant, which presents the perfect home for our elephants.
Although our enclosure here at Twycross Zoo is one of the best in the world, we do not have the resources to house a adult male elephant which is essential for their well-being and scientific research shows that elephants should live in strong social groups which include bulls.
In moving to Blackpool Zoo, the our elephants will live with Blackpool’s iconic female elephant Kate and once the herd are settled together a bull elephant will be introduced to the group.
Our CEO, Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE explains;
“The decision to move our elephants was not taken lightly; we carefully assessed all viable options for our herd, but as Blackpool can now boast to have one the best elephant facility in the UK, this was really the best option. We will of course be sad to see our girls go, but they are only a few hours away (so within visiting distance for us and our visitors!) and it’s the right thing to do for the long-term survival of not only this herd, but Asian elephants as a species”.
Our elephants will be transported in specially designed crates (each weighing 10 tons) that will provide them with the necessary comfort and safety during their journey. Our amazing Elephant keepers have already begun positive reinforcement training with our elephants to ensure the journey is as stress free as possible. Read more from our keeper diaries here.
Albert Pamies, Head Keeper of the elephant section at Twycross Zoo explains:
“Once our girls are familiar with the crates, and not before, they will be transported to Blackpool Zoo two at a time, with mother Noorjahan and calf Esha travelling together in a crate big enough for both. Our elephant team from Twycross will also travel to Blackpool, and will spend several days on site to help introduce and familiarise our girls with their new surroundings, all helping to ensure the transfer process is achieved smoothly and safely, as the elephants’ welfare is paramount.
You can visit our Asian elephants before they move daily from 10.00 to 17.00, except on Christmas Day when the zoo is closed.