'Shaka' the African Bull Elephant arrives in Somerset

An African Bull Elephant called ‘Shaka’ from Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna has arrived at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall. Shaka was successfully transferred on Friday 13 April to Noah’s Ark’s 20 acre Elephant Eden.

It has all the mod cons a pachyderm could need - a state-of-the-art elephant house, deep sand beds, hot showers, built-in training walls and 24 hour CCTV monitoring.

The transfer of Shaka has been organised by the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for African Elephants as part of an initiative to form the UK’s first African Elephant bachelor group. African Elephants are vulnerable to extinction and as a result breeding within zoos is carefully co-ordinated.

Shaka is a calm and playful Elephant who loves his food. We are very happy to be working with Noah’s Ark again which has one of the biggest Elephant facilities available in the EEP.

Dr Harald Schwammer, Vice Director at Vienna Zoo
Keeper Sandra de Rek keeps a watchful eye on her new charge. Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

26 year old Shaka is joining two young bulls, 9-year-old M’Changa and 12-year-old Janu. Male Elephants will naturally group together with other solitary males to form bachelor groups. These bachelor groupings are important for young bulls to learn social skills and new behaviours from the older males. Noah’s Ark is hoping that Shaka will act as a dominant bull for M’Changa and Janu to learn from.

We are so proud to house the African Elephant bachelor group for the EEP. It will be great for the public to witness the natural and playful behaviour of a bachelor group of elephants.

Sandra de Rek, Head Elephant Keeper at Noah’s Ark
  • Watch Shaka the Elephant in action, pictures courtesy Noah's Ark Zoo Farm