Welfare benefits of Elephant Eden
Modern 20 acre sanctuary designed with welfare as a priority
Following several years of research, zoo visits, discussions with keepers and elephant experts, Noah's Ark began designs for Elephant Eden in 2009 and received planning permission for building in 2010.
The fundamental principle underpinning the project has remained the same since the beginning: to provide a bigger and better home for elephants living in captivity and to create a healthy, breeding herd.
Referencing the literature on captive elephant welfare has re-shaped our designs for elephants throughout the planning phase; enclosure size and the dimensions of the elephant house has been increased since an RSPCA visit in 2010 when staff where given a copy of 'Best Practise' recommendations. Other important changes have also been made to further benefit elephant health and longevity.
Asian elephants will be allowed to breed naturally in Eden as part of our desire to see natural behaviours expressed. Incorporating this precept into the designs significantly increases the cost of the project but we believe it is a cost worth meeting.
Under consultation from Alan Roocroft, a leading international elephant expert and advisor, Noah's Ark Zoo Farm has designed Elephant Eden to include the following features:
- 20 acres (80,000 sq mtrs / 8 ha) of mixed field, crop and woodland grazing space (the largest environment for elephants in the UK and northern Europe)
- Modern, high-tech elephant house designed 3x larger than minimum recommended BIAZA Guidelines
- Revolutionary enriched day and night feeding regimes to encourage natural browsing behaviour and activity
- Freedom to express natural behaviour, including breeding which will help protect the future of an endangered species
- Large indoor and outdoor sandyards to promote good foot health
- Large bathing pool capable of holding 3 elephants at a time for exercise and skin care
- PC (Protected Contact) training based on rewards and using training walls - the safest and kindest method
- Additional 11 acres of tree browse already planted – to supplement diet
- Built in weighbridge facility to monitor elephant health
- CCTV for keepers to monitor elephants at all times