Queen to open elephant care centre at Whipsnade zoo

The Queen will formally open a new elephant centre at Whipsnade Zoo today.

She'll be joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and is due to formally unveil a special plaque.

The £2m centre will house the zoo's herd of nine Asian elephants.

The number of asian elephants are rapidly declining due to deforestation and poaching. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Loss of habitat, human conflict and poaching have caused the Asian elephant to become endangered.

The zoo is working in Thailand, where there is a large population of the elephants, to help reduce human wildlife conflict.

Her Majesty will unveil a plaque to mark the opening of the centre Credit: PA

Her Majesty and His Royal Highness will meet zookeepers and vets, before visiting the amphitheatre for the official opening.

The enclosure will provide a host of elephant friendly features including:

  • Soft sand flooring for comfort

  • Dimming lights to mimic night-time conditions

  • Feeding pods to release food regularly during the night

  • Six oak trees for scratching posts.

It will also feature a viewing platform for visitors, all set in 20 acres of grass paddocks.