Auckland Zoo to welcome new elephant

  • 24/02/2016

Auckland Zoo has plenty to trumpet about with news a second Asian elephant will soon be arriving from Sri Lanka.

The zoo will be gifted another Asian elephant from the Sri Lankan government to join Anjalee, who arrived in 2015, as part of a growing cooperation between the two island nations.

Prime Minister John Key made the announcement today as part of his three-day tour of Sri Lanka.

"The second elephant will prove a great drawcard for tourists and locals alike," he said.

"This is another example of the close and growing relationship between our countries and I thank the Sri Lankan government for entrusting us with her."

Auckland Zoo's first gifted elephant, Anjalee, has settled into New Zealand life well, putting on 700 kilograms to an already hefty 1.7-tonne since arriving in June last year.

While the agreement has been in place for a second elephant from Sri Lanka's Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage for some time, it was only formally finalised today.

They will join the zoo's existing 32-year-old elephant Burma, also a female, who has been the country's only elephant since Kashin died in 2009.

As a part of the deal, Auckland Zoo will help with Sri Lanka's management of its own elephant population, as well as help train Sri Lankan wildlife workers.