African Elephants Janu and Buta are officially introduced at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm

3rd Oct 2014

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The second phase of the ground-breaking Elephant Eden project gets off the ground at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm as African Elephant Janu was officially introduced to current Eden resident, Buta, on 1st October. Lively 9-year-old bull elephant Janu arrived at Noah’s Ark on 4th September and, after an initial settling in period, is now enjoying the company of 29-year-old female, Buta, who has been living at Noah’s Ark since February.

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African Elephants Janu and Buta

Our £2 million Elephant Eden is the largest elephant habitat in northern Europe at 20 acres (8 hectare) and promotes welfare advances for the care of these complex mammals. Eden boasts extensive grazing areas, sand yards, mud wallows and a state-of-the-art heated elephant barn. The habitat offers a significant space for the elephants to explore, giving them the freedom to walk several kilometres a day. The vast enriched habitat has been labelled a “five star destination for elephants” by well-known international elephant management consultant Alan Roocroft due to the revolutionary design of the facility. Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is open until 20th December before closing for the winter, so there are still plenty of opportunities for a day ticket visit ( to see these magnificent animals up close!

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The meeting of the two elephants Janu and Buta (on loan from Port Lympne Reserve in Kent and Knowsley Safari Park in Merseyside respectively) marks the beginning of the crucial establishment of the new herd at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm which will provide for the complex social needs of each elephant. Did you know that you too can contribute to their care with one of our Elephant Adoption Gift Boxes ( The pair will be followed by Kruger, a mature bull elephant who will also on a temporary loan arrangement with Knowsley Safari Park, at a later date.

The decision to move the elephants to Noah’s Ark was agreed by all parties with the welfare and long term future of each animal the primary focus. The elephants are being cared for by three keepers, led by our highly-experienced Head Elephant Keeper, Sandra de Rek. Sandra relocated to Bristol after more than 12 years working closely with elephants in the UK and the USA. Thanks to their efforts and care, Elephant Eden has proved to exceed beyond all expectations in creating a new standard for elephants. If you want to experience what it could be like to be an animal keeper, why not look at one of our Zoo Keeper Experience packages and get a taste first-hand? ( Mr Roocroft, well known for his work with European and American zoos in supporting improvements for elephant keeping, has advised Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm through the design, build and running of the project. He recently said of Noah’s Ark: “You have raised the bar for elephant keeping around the world ... and some.” “The best five star destination for elephants anywhere? Probably!” Visitors to the zoo will be able to see Janu and Buta together at Elephant Eden this week, with the Elephant House being open as usual. For more information about Janu, Buta and Elephant Eden please visit the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm website or call 01275 852606. Don’t forget, we also cater for School Trips ( and offer Zoo Outreach workshops ( too.

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