First male elephant born because of artificial insemination to move to Bristol

  • Watch Will Charley's report on Noah's Ark Zoo Park's new arrival

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm has welcomed the arrival of an African elephant after his move from West Midland Safari Park.

Sutton was the first male elephant to be born because of artificial insemination - with semen from a wild bull used.

He was born in May 2014 at West Midlands Safari Park, where he has lived ever since.

Curator at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Chris Wilkinson said: “The entire team here are buzzing with excitement.

"Sutton joins our two bull African elephants, Shaka and Janu, at our 20-acre bull elephant facility. He will be welcomed into a safe and enriching environment."

Sutton has lived at the Bewdley park site since his birth in 2014 Credit: West Midland Safari Park

Sutton was named by West Midlands Safari Park’s guests, in honour of local teenager, Stephen Sutton who raised £4.2million for The Teenage Cancer Trust.

Stephen had visited the park while he was undergoing cancer treatment but died a few days before Sutton was born.

Ahead of the move, elephant keepers at both sites have been working closely together to plan the move and ensure Sutton settles in well.

African Elephants are listed as ‘endangered’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Credit: West Midland Safari Park

Andy Plumb, the head elephant keeper at West Midland Safari Park, said: “It is a bittersweet time for me and the elephant team to see Sutton leave us.

"He has been here at the park since his birth in 2014 and we have built a strong bond with him, but it is time for him to continue his journey.

“Unfortunately, African elephants face an uncertain future, with the wild population declining, meaning they are listed as ‘endangered’.

"Sutton’s move to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm will enable him to continue his development and hopefully go on to become a successful breeding bull at another collection in the future, further supporting and protecting the survival of elephants into the future."