Video credit: Twycross Zoo
Twycross Zoo is going to move its all-female herd of Asian elephants to Blackpool Zoo to allow the animals to breed.
Originating from the open grasslands, marshes, savannahs and tropical forests of India, Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka, the Asian elephants are classified as an endangered species.
Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE, CEO of Twycross Zoo said:
We will of course be sad to see our girls go and our staff will be monitoring their progress as they settle in. As they go we will be making changes at the zoo - we look forward to the new developments to be announced soon.
Twycross’ current enclosure Elephant Creek can't house a male bull elephant to naturally grow into a larger family.
Minbu, Tara, Noorjahan and Esha will be transported in specially designed steel crates weighing 10 tons each.
Elephant keepers at the zoo have been walking them into the transport crates, to allow them to get used to standing inside them, making the journey as stress free as possible when the transfer happens in spring 2018.
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.
Threats to wild populations include poaching, habitat destruction or fragmentation.
Dr Sharon Redrobe, CEO of Twycross Zoo concludes:
Captive breeding of any endangered 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.
A bull elephant will be introduced to the group once the elephants are settled into their new home.