12 august 2016
It's World Elephant Day! When you get to spend your days with beautiful Burma, it's not hard to see why zookeeper Joel is head over heels for elephants!
Since joining our zoo family last year, elephant Anjalee has captured the hearts of everyone who has met her – including Burma!
Thursday 25 February 2016
We've got something to trumpet about!
Auckland Zoo is delighted to confirm a second elephant from Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka will be joining its elephants Burma and Anjalee – already at the Zoo.
Anjalee’s arrival last year, and Nandi’s upcoming move, completes the elephants coming to us from Pinnawala.
Auckland Zoo staff have been working with their counterparts at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and have identified young female Nandi as having the right temperament and disposition to be a great companion for Anjalee and Burma.
"We are very much looking forward to welcoming Nandi to be part of our elephant family, and to strengthening the long-standing close working relationship we already have with Sri Lanka to assist both captive and wild Asian elephants in their country," says Auckland Zoo director, Jonathan Wilcken.
All elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are unable to be released in to the wild. The orphanage regularly has to provide homes and additional space for confiscated elephants that have been illegally captured from the wild, as well as elephants that are victims of the growing human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka.
Asian elephants are endangered; their wild habitat is diminishing and wild elephant populations are increasingly coming into conflict with people with disastrous results. There are now believed to be less than 5000 Asian elephants remaining living in the wild in Sri Lanka.
For many years now, Auckland Zoo has been helping fund two of Sri Lanka's conservation programmes that are aimed at protecting the remaining elephant population in the country. The first of these projects is focused on schools' education and helping school children to understand the historical and cultural importance of elephants in Sri Lanka, and how there is a way for them to live in the future with the growing human population, in a sustainable way.
The second project is a research project involving GPS satellite-tracking of wild elephant populations that is helping to provide a better understanding of their behaviour and migration patterns, and is therefore helping to avert further human-elephant conflict.
Here in New Zealand, by attracting 700,000 visitors a year to Auckland Zoo, we can inspire our community to better understand wildlife and to show them what they can all do to help protect it.
"Elephants are extraordinarily powerful ambassadors for wildlife and the natural world, one of the many reasons we are very excited about Nandi joining Anjalee and Burma to become part of a future sustainable breeding herd," says Auckland Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken.
"There is still a lot to be worked through before Nandi can come to New Zealand, including routine health testing over the coming months – as was done with Anjalee.
Since arriving at Auckland Zoo last June, Anjalee has grown and is thriving (having put on over 700kgs!). She and Burma have developed a strong relationship of mutual support and playfulness, both showing evident signs of enjoying each other's company immensely.
The Sri Lanka-Auckland Zoo partnership
Auckland Zoo's partnership with Sri Lankan government agencies, who manage Pinnawala orphanage, is one that will see us working together for many years to come - to assist both captive and wild populations of Asian elephants in Sri Lanka.
Support to date includes providing training and development programmes for Zoo staff as well as supplying specialist veterinary equipment.
"We've already hosted two senior curatorial and veterinary staff for very successful month-long internships and we will welcome many more Sri Lankan staff in the future," says Mr Wilcken.
"Our strengthening partnership will also allow us to collaborate closely with Sri Lanka's Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife on an additional programme of activities to help conserve Sri Lanka's elephant population in the wild, including the mitigation of human-elephant conflict.
"We're delighted to be in a position to help secure a brighter future for elephants in Sri Lanka, building on the support Auckland Zoo already gives to Sri Lanka's Biodiversity & Elephant Conservation Trust and the Centre for Conservation and Research Sri Lanka."
From garden to elephant table
Burma and Anjalee love their greens and munch A LOT of it every day.
If you're doing a spot of pruning around your place and want to deliver your off-cuts,
find out how to here.
Friday 11 september 2015
In this week's Zoo Tales, team leader of elephants Andrew and his team have started the process of walking with elephants Anjalee and Burma around the Zoo.
Thursday 3 September
We had a great time at Anjalee's ninth birthday and she received some lovely and thoughtful gifts.
Room 26 from Waimauku School drew some colourful pictures of Anjalee, William from Wellington sent up a bag of peanuts and 87 year old Pat Gray from Mt Roskill knitted Anjalee a gorgeous pink elephant.
An elephant-sized thanks from all of us here at Auckland Zoo.
See photos of Anjalee's presents here.
Wednesday 12 August
It's World Elephant Day and we think this video of Burma and Anjalee will make you fall even more in love with elephants.
Monday 3 August
Our team of elephant keepers are working towards going out for walks around the Zoo with Anjalee and Burma during opening hours.
This is a gradual process and one of the first steps is going out to the front of their enclosure for a munch and to see some visitors from behind a temporary barrier.
See photos of Burma and Anjalee venturing out here.
Friday 17 July
It's not every day you see elephants look weightless! Thanks to our elephant keeper Joel, we're able to show you this stunning underwater footage of Burma and Anjalee in their pool.
Friday 10 July
Anjalee and Burma have been making headlines since Anjalee's arrival in late June and the two have been getting on famously ever since. Watch our latest Zoo Tales and see their first outing together as well as their blossoming friendship!
Friday 26 june
It's been a momentous and emotional week at the Zoo with elephant Anjalee finally here at her new home. Watch our latest Zoo Tales video, showing Anjalee's journey from Niue to the Zoo last Sunday.
Wednesday 24 June
Since Anjalee's arrival to Auckland Zoo on Sunday 21 June, keepers have been introducing her and Burma in the barn - first with visual contact, then physical contact and now, for the first time, today they are out in the paddock together - much to the delight of Zoo staff and visitors.
See photos here.
Monday 22 June
Elephant Anjalee explored her new home this morning and some lucky zoo visitors were there to see her for the first time.
See photos here.
Anjalee will have access to the outside paddock at various times over the coming weeks – so be sure to keep an eye on our social media or, if you’re at the Zoo, pop by the Elephant Clearing to see whether you can catch a glimpse.
Sunday 21 June
Elephant Anjalee has landed safely in New Zealand! Following a five-hour flight on a NZDF C-130 Hercules from Niue, she's now on her way to the Zoo, where our keepers will gradually introduce her to Burma.
Keepers will be observing very closely to assess when Anjalee's ready to be outside and visible to Zoo visitors - so keep an eye on Facebook and our website for updates on how she’s settling into her new home.
Thursday 11 June
Elephant Anjalee is in the final weeks of her quarantine in Niue. Watch her burn off energy chasing chickens in her enclosure and keeper Andrew preparing her for journey to her new home at Auckland Zoo.