Here at Auckland Zoo we have two special elephants, Burma and Anjalee, and a great team of elephant keepers. On Wednesday 12 August we're uniting with Australasian zoos by going grey and it’d be greYt if you joined us!

How you can help this World Elephant Day:

  1. Go Grey by dressing in your best grey threads on Wednesday 12...or even the week leading up to World Elephant Day!
  2. Join our 11.15am elephant keeper talk to see our keepers engaging Anjalee and Burma in positive reinforcement training sessions, bathing and of course, interacting with you guys!
  3. Further support our conservation efforts for elephants in Sri Lanka and Sumatra with a donation to our Conservation Fund.

As a not-for-profit conservation organisation, the funds we raise go into caring for our animals and to support conservation projects that help wildlife and communities all around the world. Learn more about our two amazing elephants and the organisations we support below.


Join us in supporting these precious pachyderms!

Elephant team leader Andrew Coers discusses the conservation #WildWork we're involved in to conserve elephants.

Asian elephants are endangered and our role as a modern zoo that cares for elephants is to raise community support for their conservation and funds for a range of conservation efforts. We achieve this through the connections our visitors make with our Asian elephants Burma and Anjalee, as well as research programmes, elephant habitat restoration and community-based initiatives all with the aim of protecting wild elephant populations.

Now in her 30s, Burma, who arrived at Auckland Zoo in 1990, is the elder of these two beautiful pachyderms.  She has matured into a lovely gentle elephant, and while still very energetic and playful, is slightly less mischievous than Anjalee!

Anjalee was born in 2006 and is now the equivalent of a teenager. She has boundless energy, confidence and curiosity, and since arriving here in 2015, has developed an incredible bond with Burma.

To date, Auckland Zoo has contributed more than +4 million dollars to conserving wildlife through our Wild Work. We've helped to fund programmes in Sri Lanka and Nepal, aimed at researching Asian elephant populations, understanding them better, and helping to avert conflict. We also help elephants in Sumatra through supporting the protection of habitat and every visitor to our Zoo helps us generate the funds needed for these projects.

It is about us all doing our little bit to try and make a difference. You can help by Going Grey for World Elephant Day and come visit us here at Auckland Zoo where a portion of your ticket goes to help support elephants out there in the wild.

Andrew Coers, Team Leader of Elephants at Auckland Zoo

Centre for Conservation and Research – Sri Lanka

Human-elephant conflict is a significant problem in Sri Lanka. On average, 148 elephants and 59 humans are killed each year according to the Department of Wildlife and Conservation (DWC). Unfortunately, due to the reduction of elephant habitats, these conflicts are inevitable and increasing.

The Centre for Conservation and Research (CCR) conducts, supports and encourages research into all aspects of the environment to help develop management plans, and guide environmental conservation and management – including research on elephants.

CCR has conducted many research projects over the years including studying Sri Lankan elephants using radio telemetry and more recently, GPS satellite-tracking. Through GPS satellite-tracking, CCR has proven the use of a natural corridor used by elephants between two national parks, which is now an area protected from development by the DWC.

Through the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund, we fund GPS collars to allow CCR to carry out further research.


Conserving Asian elephants in Sri Lanka

We meet elephant team leader Andrew Coers and Pruthu Fernando from the Conservation Centre for Research in Sri Lanka who discuss the vital conservation work taking place for Sri Lanka's Asian elephant

Biodiversity & Elephant Conservation Trust - Sri Lanka

The present Asian elephant population in Sri Lanka is estimated at over 5,000. With annual losses of around 148 animals, this population is severely threatened. Long-term and short-term strategies are urgently needed if these elephants are to be saved.

Awareness is one of the conservation strategies that has been adopted, especially for those living in the areas of human-elephant conflict. The Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust has launched an awareness programme in schools in areas where there has been conflicts.

The interactive programme addresses the value of elephants, the causes of conflict, how to minimise the conflicts and stresses the need for conservation.

The Schools Awareness Programme visits 150 schools per year and has been successful in changing children's attitudes towards elephants.


Meet Auckland Zoo's elephant team leader Andrew Coers

Elephant team leader Andrew is best known for his unforgettable journey with our extraordinary pachyderms, and after 20 years here at the Zoo he reflects on how it all started.

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