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Auckland Zoo’s colleagues at Zoos South Australia (ZSA) are today beginning a fundraising campaign to build an elephant habitat at their Monarto Safari Park for Asian elephants within the Australasian region.

If the fundraising for Stage One of the facilities required is successful, the open range zoo would initially provide a forever home for three Asian elephants, one of which could be Auckland Zoo’s 40-year-old Asian elephant Burma.

“We are very excited about the possibility of Monarto Safari Park developing this new 14ha (35 acre) habitat for the Australasian regional elephant programme – one of the largest of its kind in the region - and really hope that this fundraising effort can become a reality,” says Auckland Zoo director, Kevin Buley.

“Burma is continuing to do extremely well here at Auckland Zoo thanks to our incredible elephant team, however in the longer-term we know that she needs to be with other elephants. A new herd at Monarto, that would initially also include two Asian elephants from Perth Zoo that are in similar circumstances, would be a brilliant option for Burma’s future forever home.

“As this Monarto option is not confirmed, we are of course, continuing to work with the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) programme to explore other accredited zoo back-up options that would provide Burma with the elephant family herd and environment that she needs for her long-term wellbeing.”

While not currently home to elephants, Zoos South Australia has a long-standing history of having elephants at both Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park.

“As a conservation charity, Zoos South Australia is working with other accredited zoos including Auckland Zoo to provide the very best home for elephants where they can live as part of a complex and enriching family herd structure,” says Zoos South Australia chief executive, Elaine Bensted

“Within Australia, the Asian elephant regional breeding programme has been very successful over the past two decades. Eight elephants have been born since 2000 (three in the past year), and the establishment of a new herd in South Australia would increase capacity and be a hugely valuable resource for our Australasian elephant programme.”

Auckland Zoo will know by the end of October this year whether Zoos South Australia’s fundraising campaign has been successful, and their plans can progress. We would then anticipate Burma moving to her new home approximately a year later. Until then our highly skilled and dedicated team of elephant keepers will continue providing the exceptional level of care and quality of life for Burma that they always have.


Preparing Burma and Anjalee for their trans-Tasman travel

Our elephant team have been spending lots of time familiarising Burma and Anjalee with their individual travel crates, in preparation for their move. One of which was designed and made here in Auckland.