elephants at west midlands safari park 2

West Midlands Safari Park is delighted to welcome two African elephants into its herd, named Suzy and Gitana. The two females, aged 40 and 44, arrived last month, having travelled from Pairi Daiza Zoo in Belgium, accompanied by their keepers. They have made the move to be companions for the two elephants that already reside at the Park, 32-year-old female, Five, and bull elephant, 23-year-old Coco.

Head Keeper of Elephants at WMSP, Andy Plumb, said, “After nearly a year in planning, all of the elephant keeping team are delighted with the safe arrival of Suzy and Gitana, which has doubled our herd numbers overnight. The reaction of Coco and Five has been a joy to see, as forming friendships with other individuals is a very important part of their social life. We are very excited to see how the new herd develops.”

Since their arrival, Suzy and Gitana have had time to settle into their new home, consisting of outdoor pools, mud wallows, dust baths, indoor sand beds and enriching feeding areas. As soon as they entered their new outdoor habitat on Friday, they could be seen exploring the area, throwing dust over themselves and enjoying the enriching smells and textures of the planting.

As a member of BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums), West Midlands Safari Park adheres to the highest standards in the world when caring for elephants.

African elephants face an uncertain future, with wild populations declining, due to poaching and loss of habitat, therefore they are listed as ‘endangered’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

West Midlands Safari Park is partnered with and annually donates to the charity Tusk, which supports on the ground conservation through the Mali Elephant Project, which protects a unique population of 550 sub-desert elephants. The Park hopes that Suzy and Gitana’s arrival will help them to continue to educate guests about this amazing species and will inspire the next generation of conservationists.

The African elephants can be seen on the four-mile Safari Drive, from the Grasslands Viewpoint on the African Walking Trail and from the Elephant Lodges.

More information is available on the Park’s website: www.wmsp.co.uk 

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