For well over a year Knowsley Safari have been putting plans in place to transform their elephant paddock and create a brand new elephant house as part of their foot safari transformation. In July 2017, after months of training and preparation, the first big step was taken, and elephants Ashanti and Juba were successfully transported from Merseyside to ZooParc de’Beauval, France.
Moving day began at 6am, when months of training was put into action and the two elephants were carefully encouraged to walk into the moving crates on their own. Both elephants remained calm and the loading went smoothly. A great testimony to the strong bond between keeper and elephant and the importance of the measured and considered training.
Transportation crates were loaded onto lorries, with an extra lorry for food, water and supplies. Scheduled service station stops allowed keepers, elephant expert Alan Roocroft and Knowley Safari’s resident vet to perform regular checks on each of the elephants as well as providing extra food and water. In between stops, in-crate camera systems meant observing the elephants at all times was simple.
Once at ZooParc de’Beauval the unloading process was put into practice. After months of training, the elephants knew what to expect making the first step into their home a smooth one. After a long journey Juba and Ashanti greeted each other warmly and began to settle into the new environment.
Both elephants are now adapting well in Beauval, with the steady process of introducing them to their new family underway. The next step will be to transport Tots and Nala to join their family.
To read the first-hand account from Knowsley’s elephant keepers click here https://www.knowsleysafariexperience.co.uk/exciting-changes/move-elephant-part-2
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