Smashing fun at Whipsnade at World Elephant Day
- Credit: ZSL
The herd of Asian elephants at Whipsnade Zoo enjoyed a special surprise for World Elephant Day today.
Zookeepers gave them two colourful, giant pinatas, custom-made for the elephants, filled with biodegradable confetti and their favourite treats.
Pinatas featuring the number 90 - a nod to the number of years the UK’s largest zoo has been open - were attached to a tall tree in the elephant enclosure.
When 22-year-old Karishma pulled on the apples dangling underneath, the pinatas released a cloud of colourful confetti as well as an array of the elephants’ favourite snacks, including banana, apple and home-made, nutritious, elephant biscuits.
The whole herd enjoyed scooping up the scattered treats with their trunks and munching on them, as well as the “tasty” pinata itself, which had been carefully created from food-safe materials.
Zoological manager Matthew Webb said: “World Elephant Day is a wonderful opportunity to remind everyone that these incredible, intelligent animals need our protection and support more than ever.
“Our herd of endangered Asian elephants always enjoy investigating new things, and it took Karishma no time at all to work out that if she pulled on the apple that was attached to the string under the pinata, something exciting would happen.”
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Matthew continued: “I hope that elephants like Karishma celebrating World Elephant Day alongside the humans that love and admire them, right across the globe, moves people to support the protection of elephants from human-elephant conflict, habitat loss and poaching.”
Those wishing to support the protection of elephants and other threatened species can donate to ZSL’s conservation projects or book tickets for ZSL Whipsnade Zoo at www.zsl.org