It’s been a busy Summer at Project Elephant Base Camp as preparations are well underway to welcome a male elephant to Blackpool Zoo for the very first time in our 47-year history.
Following years of planning and working with the EEP (European Endangered Species Programme), we are delighted to announce that we’ve found a suitable bull to join our herd of 5 females.
Our transport crate made its way down the M1 so our future resident could begin his training. It is hoped that Emmett, a 28-year-old male Asian elephant from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, will be making his big move later this year.
We caught up with Section Head Adam Kenyon, who has in fact spent three years working with Emmett earlier in his career, ahead of the big move:
We are all very excited to be welcoming Emmett to Blackpool Zoo as his arrival is fundamental to our goal of securing a future for this magnificent species. We’re working towards a multi-generational herd of Asian elephants that exhibits natural, wild behaviours and a key component of this is the addition of a male.
Not only is he crucial from a biological point of view but his past experience as part of a multi-generational herd in which he has sired young means he is perfectly placed to teach the next generation of elephants. I have spent time with Emmett in recent months and he has matured into a wonderful breeding bull with a great temperament – which is exactly what we were looking for.
ZSL’s Senior Curator of Mammals, Malcolm Fitzpatrick, added:
Part of the European Endangered Species Programme for Asian elephants, Emmett’s move is an exciting one for his new herd at Blackpool as well as the herd at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, who will themselves soon be welcoming a new male into the group.
Male elephants in the wild do not stay with one matriarchal herd for their lifetimes, so this replicates a natural process for both males – we’re sure Emmett will waste no time getting to know his new herd.
Adam and his team are now hard at work preparing for Emmett’s arrival and we’re hoping he’ll be here later this year.