Green Sanctuary for Elephants
5th November 2012
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, which has won awards for its green tourism credentials, is to open a unique sustainable habitat for elephants 2013. Elephant Eden is a one-of-a-kind habitat for elephants spread out over 20 acres at our zoo farm in Wraxall.
What the bathing pools at Elephant Eden might look like
It is designed to provide a better living environment for elephants that are already in captivity and will encourage walking and activity, varied feeding, bathing and social interaction. While the habitat offers unsurpassed attention to the social, dietary and recreational needs of elephants, it will also be completely environmentally sustainable. Having gained the national Silver award for the Green Tourism Business Scheme in 2011, Noah’s Ark is building Elephant Eden to be almost completely reliant on renewable energy. Despite being a massive 80,000 m² complex for a growing herd of Asian elephants, Elephant Eden has been designed to blend seamlessly into its environment. Work on Elephant Eden started on September 7 and is expected to be completed by summer 2013. Noah’s Ark has already created sustainable habitats for our residents such as the Big Cat Sanctuary which relies on sustainable water harvesting. With expert advice and consultation having taken place at every step of planning Elephant Eden, we have the expertise to deliver this ambitious project. Some of the amazing sustainable features will include solar roof panels to provide renewable electricity for the complex. That energy will be used to power automated feeding hoists for the elephants, giving them enriched food day and night and encouraging natural feeding behaviours, as well as for the CCTV system to monitor their behaviour. The elephants will be kept warm by biomass heaters powered by recycled waste chippings. Their food will come from 12 acres of cultivated woodland and the hay that is in ready supply on our working farm. Rainwater is being collected, filtered and cleaned naturally through a special reed bed treatment system to supply the deep bathing pool which elephants love so much.
Visitors are invited to the Elephant Eden site.
Visitors to the zoo are able to watch the progress of the building work from viewpoints near the Big Cat Sanctuary – the new elephant house will be erected in December by contractors who have been prefabricating the structure since September. More illustrated plans of the elephant house and enclosure will be published for the media in January. The zoo has had a busy October Half Term, with visitors taking part in an educational zoo trail and themed pumpkin enrichment demonstrations with the animals. The popular Christmas nativity plays return in December, with two different interpretations on Saturday December 8 & 15 for families to attend. Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm can be found just outside of Bristol and only minutes from the M5 motorway, open Monday – Saturday 10:30am – 5pm from February 5 until December 15.
For more information about the animals, entry prices and events at Noah’s Ark, visit http://www.noahsarkzoofarm.co.uk or phone 01275 852606.