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End of an era as first elephant leaves Twycross Zoo

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 7/02/2018 19:14:25 Dan Newbould

Twycross Zoo's much loved Tara has become the first elephant in her herd to pack up her trunk and make the journey to Blackpool Zoo's new Project Elephant.

We reported the move last November which bosses described as "the right thing to do for the long-term survival of not only this herd, but Asian elephants as a species".

Following 12 months of training and planning by the Twycross Zoo conservation team, Tara was safely transported to the seaside on a specially created steel crate, last Tuesday.

Now the team are focused on getting the rest of the herd ready to follow her.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

Meanwhile, Tara, a 19 year old Asian elephant, has been getting to know her new best friend, Blackpool Zoo's Kate.

Twycross Zoo CEO Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE said: "It's been a very emotional week for the Twycross Zoo family.

"We are so excited that our girls have the opportunity to be part of the new Project Elephant and Blackpool's endangered animals breeding programme, but we are all going to miss her.

"Tara's smooth move is a huge achievement for our team and we hope to see Minbu, Noorjahan and Esha settled in the next few months too.

a elephant that is standing in the dirt © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

"Our girls will only go when they are ready, and so our visitors can be sure to see them for a little while yet.

"When they do all move we know they are going to be very well looked after by the Blackpool Zoo team.

"As for their enclosure, it's a large site so we will look to redevelop but can't plan the next phase until our girls are safely in their new home."

Asian elephants are one of the largest land mammals on the planet but the species is currently threatened by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation leading to them being listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

As a result, Asian elephant populations have declined by at least 50 per cent in the last three generations.

With the move of Tara and her companions to Blackpool Zoo, Twycross Zoo experts hope to make this celebrated species thrive again.

7. helmikuuta 2018 21:14:25 Categories: Birmingham Mail

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