Over a dozen African elephants, currently living in the UK are being moved back to their ‘ancestral homelands.’
In a move conservationists are calling a ‘world first attempt at rewilding an entire herd,’ and we love to see it.
The thirteen elephants currently reside at the Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent, UK, and will be released into the wild in Kenya. This means they will have to fly over 7,000 kilometers!
More than a dozen elephants living in the United Kingdom are heading back to their “ancestral homelands” in what wildlife conservationists are calling the world’s first attempt at “rewilding” an entire herd.
Thirteen African elephants from the Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent, England, will be flown more than 7,000 kilometers (approximately 4,349 miles) and released into the wild in Kenya, The Aspinall Foundation, an animal charity that runs the zoo, announced on their website.
“This is the first time that a herd of elephants has ever been rewilded anywhere in the world,” a page about the project on The Aspinall Foundation, says. “No elephant rewilding project of this scale has ever been attempted before.”
There are two related families making up the herd including three calves, with a total weight of 25 tons, they will need to be transported in special crates.
“Although they are receiving the best care possible, The Aspinall Foundation believes that these animals belong in the wild, and that no elephants belong in captivity.”
“Rewilding captive elephants in this way will demonstrate what can be done to ensure elephants really thrive,” the foundation said. “This will be the first time ever that a herd of elephants have been returned to Africa from Europe. We hope the spin-off effect will be that zoos no longer breed or trade-in elephants globally.”
This isn’t the first time the foundation have “rewilded” animals, last year two cheetahs were taken from captivitiy to South Africa; but it in the first time an entire herd of elephants have been.
While the foundation said “rewilding” an entire herd of elephants is “uncharted territory,” they have found success in reintroducing other animals into the wilderness.
Last year, two cheetahs in captivity, Saba and Nairo, were brought to South Africa in “another Aspinall Foundation world first,” the organization said.
All credits go to The Aspinall Foundation