TWYCROSS Zoo’s much loved Tara is the first of her herd to make the journey to Blackpool Zoo’s new Project Elephant.
Following twelve months of elephant led training and meticulous planning by the Twycross Zoo conservation team, Tara was safely transported to the seaside on a specially created steel crate, last Tuesday.
Now the Twycross Zoo team are focused on getting the rest of the herd ready to follow her, meanwhile, Tara, the 19-year-old Asian elephant, has been getting to know her new best friend, Blackpool Zoo’s very own Ele, Kate.
Twycross Zoo CEO Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE said: “It’s been a very emotional week for the Twycross Zoo family. We are so excited that our girls have the opportunity to be part of the new Project Elephant and Blackpool’s endangered animals breeding programme, but we are all going to miss her. Tara’s smooth move is a huge achievement for our team and we hope to see Minbu, Noorjahan and Esha settled in the next few months too.”
Asian elephants are one of the largest land mammals on the planet but the species is currently 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% in the last three generations. With the move of Tara and her companions to Blackpool Zoo, Twycross Zoo experts hope to make this celebrated species thrive again.
Sharon continues; “Our girls will only go when they are ready, and so our visitors can be sure to see them for a little while yet. When they do all move we know they are going to be very well looked after by the Blackpool Zoo team. As for their enclosure, it’s a large site so we will look to redevelop but can’t plan the next phase until our girls are safely in their new home.”
Located just off junction 11 of the M42, Twycross Zoo is open to the public from 10.00 to 17.00, 364 days a year. For more information and to book tickets visit www.twycrosszoo.org or call 0844 474 1777.