ZSL Whipsnade Zoo are offering elephant lovers an unforgettable experience when they visit at the weekend on 16 and 17 September.
Celebrating the zoo’s largest residents, the Asian elephants, the zoo’s Elephantastic event promises a mammouth day out while marking the global Elephant Appreciation Weekend.
Visitors can enjoy a close encounter with one of the zoo’s nine elephants, feed them a fruity snack and even have their photo taken together, all for a small donation towards ZSL’s (Zoological Society of London) conservation research for elephants.
Keeper talks and behind-the-scenes guided tours will also be on offer, along with the opportunity to watch as zookeepers bathe the elephants while one-year-old Elizabeth, the herd’s youngest member, plays in her paddock.
The Asian elephant is classified as endangered with habitat loss, human conflict and poaching all threatening their wild populations. ZSL have included the mammals on their EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) list, meaning the species is in particularly urgent need of conservation action.
The elephants also face a growing threat from a virus, known as EEHV, which can be fatal. ZSL’s vets, conservationists and researchers are trying to understand what causes this disease and are working in Thailand – a major stronghold for Asian elephants – to reduce human-wildlife conflict, ensuring the peaceful coexistence of elephants and humans.
To book tickets for Elephantastic at Whipsnade Zoo and support ZSL’s efforts to protect elephants, go to www.zsl.org.