Twycross herd is re­united at their new home in Black­pool

Hinckley Times - - LETTERS -

FOL­LOW­ING a year of ele­phant-led train­ing and metic­u­lous plan­ning, Twycross Zoo, has suc­cess­fully moved its en­tire herd of Asian Ele­phants to Black­pool.

As part of a land­mark ini­tia­tive, all four Twycross Zoo girls were cho­sen to be­come part of Project Ele­phant, an en­dan­gered an­i­mals breed­ing pro­gramme, at the Lan­cashire zoo.

Tara and Minbu made their jour­neys sep­a­rately ear­lier this year, with Noor­ja­han and Esha trav­el­ling to­gether and ar­riv­ing safely at their new home on Tues­day.

This is not Noor­ja­han’s first move, she trav­elled to Twycross Zoo in 1998 from Jal­da­para Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary in In­dia.

Now 22 years old, she is mum to fouryear-old Esha and has al­ways been a de­voted mother. That’s why, dif­fi­cult as it was, the keep­ers were de­ter­mined to trans­port the pair to­gether, when they were ready.

Twycross chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Sharon Re­drobe said: “It’s been a very emo­tional time for the Twycross Zoo fam­ily.

“Mov­ing four ele­phants safely across the coun­try has been a real chal­lenge for our keeper team, all ded­i­cated to mak­ing the tran­si­tion as smooth as pos­si­ble for our girls.”

“Ele­phants have been at Twycross Zoo since 1964, so this is the end of an era for us. Al­though we are very sad to see our ele­phants go, we are pleased they are now re­united and are so proud they are go­ing to help to make this cel­e­brated species thrive again.”

Asian ele­phants are one of the largest land mam­mals on the planet, but the species is 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 past three gen­er­a­tions.

With the move of Tara, Minbu, Noor­ja­han and Esha, con­ser­va­tion ex­perts hope to see this cel­e­brated species flour­ish.

Sharon con­tin­ued: “As for their en­clo­sure, it’s a large site so we will look to re­de­velop now we have peace of mind our ele­phants are safely in their new home.”

Twycross Zoo is home to over 500 an­i­mals of 125 dif­fer­ent species from all around the world. Visi­tors can learn about the con­ser­va­tion char­ity’s res­i­dents in their in­door and out­door en­clo­sures in­clud­ing the state of the art Gib­bon For­est, Gi­raffe Sa­van­nah and new Chim­panzee Eden. Twycross Zoo is open to the pub­lic from 10am to 6pm, 364 days a year.

The Asian Ele­phant team at Twycross Zoo, with their beloved four girls who have now been re-homed to Black­pool as part of Project Ele­phant, an en­dan­gered an­i­mals breed­ing pro­gramme

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