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Blackpool Zoo KATE THE ELEPHANT, HER FUTURE.

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Animal Friendly, 16 Jan 2015.

  1. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    Kate the Asian elephant now in her mid forties is unfortunately now on her own at Blackpool Zoo. She came to Blackpool in the early seventies as a youngster with her companion Crumple, later joined some years later by Indra and Marcella rescued from a bankrupt circus in Europe. Crumple was put to sleep in 2009 due to arthritic problems, Marcella died last year and Indra this week. I wonder what the future will now hold for Kate, will she spend the rest of her days alone at Blackpool?, will she be relocated to another collection where she will have the company of her own kind?, or will Blackpool do as has been stated be building a new elephant facility at the zoo enabling Kate to be joined by other elephants at Blackpool?. I appreciate that it is very early days as Kate has only very recently been left alone and it will be perhaps a while before a decision is made regarding her future.
     
  2. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    I think that the last paragraph sums it up really - no need for a snap decision, although Blackpool have probably been planning for this eventuality for some time.
    Clearly the current situation would not be a good long term solution, but if they have plans to build a new enclosure, she could be kept & possibly joined by more non breeders.
    There will no doubt be a number of suggestions to move her to Longleat, but until that is definitely functional with other elephants either there or planned to move there, I think it would be a bad move. To send her there with just Anne in residence could just be creating a new problem, as Anne is considerably older.
    I think a lot depends on Kate's current state of health too and how long she has left.
     
  3. alfiethetortois

    alfiethetortois Well-Known Member

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    This was on the facebook page:

    "Thank you all for your kind thoughts, they really are appreciated. Kate will be, of course, staying with us and will be closely monitored by her keepers in the coming weeks. While it is too soon to make any decisions on the immediate future, there are plans for a brand new elephant facility within the next few years."


    https://www.facebook.com/blackpoolz...28618203391/10152744726423392/?type=1&theater
     
  4. taun

    taun Well-Known Member

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    It would be best for her to move to a non breeding groups, probably best in the UK to keep the journey as short and stress less as possible. Which really narrows down the options.

    I hope they do move her on and build a new facility to hold a bachelor group. They will need to make the outdoor area bigger, but it would be suitable for 2/3 young bulls. Space is sort in the area for but ideally they would need a second out door enclosure to hold males.

    Will be interesting to see what happens.
     
  5. Gary

    Gary Well-Known Member

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    You can't have bachelor groups of elephants.

    They don't live together in the wild-they are solitary animals and only join the females when they are in musth,

    You would just end up with one elephant and a large pile of offal.

    Alternatively you would have to keep them singly in uber strengthened compounds that would end up looking like prison yards.

    Why do you think most zoos don't even bother keeping a single bull (and instead use artificial insemination) let alone more than one?
     
  6. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    If and when they needed to relocate her - Belfast would be an obvious option. Hopefully it won't come to that though
     
  7. clm1950

    clm1950 Well-Known Member

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  8. taun

    taun Well-Known Member

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    That has no bearing on it as it is a zoo and lots of animals have been found to behave differently in zoos due to many factors.

    Zoo don't keep them because they won't outlay the cost to build the facility to house them and as they think they are risky to keep but there are many zoos that prove with the appropriate procedures the risks can be minimised. AI is a great tool where logistics mean it may be better for it but it should be in my opinion anyone housing breeding elephants should house a bull.

    Lastly I sure there are other examples of bachelor group of male elephants but cannot remember where I have seen this. It is natural for young bulls to learn from an older bull, I would never advocate trying to run too fully mature bulls, they would have to be a mixture of age (just like the somewhat successful gorilla bachelor groups.
     
  9. Waddi

    Waddi Well-Known Member

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    My personal opinion is that Kate should move on to be with other Elephants. Blackpool Zoo could then build modern enclosures for the current residents of the small primate house.
     
  10. woody505

    woody505 Well-Known Member

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    there's a little sign at the far end of the house they hope to start work on a new elephant enclosure this year, Kate will have to have a holiday while they building it. One option mentioned being looked at was joining a group in Malaga.
     
  11. Junior Friendly

    Junior Friendly Active Member

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    I see that Ann the circus elephant has had a fab new house built for her at Longleat, it looks great, I remember Ann when I was taken to the circus as a kid doing her act with the other elephants, I see that Kate the elephant at Blackpool Zoo is now on her own since her friends have died, I remember Crumple and Kate from being a toddler when we used to go to the zoo and see the illuminations later at night, why not send Kate to Longleat as a friend for Ann?, she has a lovely new house with all the mod cons, pity she has no pals to share it with, what do zoo chatters think?
     
  12. Hexaprotodon

    Hexaprotodon Well-Known Member

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    It's certainly seems a nice idea to get Ann integrated with another elderly cow or two - but the reality of it might be considerably more difficult. Elephants are notoriously difficult to mix, and this is complicated when there are elderly individuals to consider.

    Similar efforts, with all the very best of intentions, have taken place at zoos such as Rome and even Port Lympne, but have ended up with segregated groups or even isolated individuals due to fighting. An inappropriate attempt to mix groups at a collection in Spain resulted in the death of one of my all time favourite elephants - Pugli, originally from the Aspinall parks. Whipsnade effectively keeps two separate herds of elephants due to fighting amongst some of the cows.

    I'm not saying that it won't work either - just that a great deal of thought and time needs to go into such attempts to ensure that they go well.
     
  13. Junior Friendly

    Junior Friendly Active Member

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    Thanks mate you obviously know what you are talking about and have an interest for elephants.My Dad says Ann is a bit wobbly on one of her back legs as she has arthritis, but she lived with others on the circus so she is used to other elephants, same with Kate she lived happily with Indra and Marcella when they came to Blackpool, even if they didn't get on at first they could get to know each other when segregated inside Ann's new house, and perhaps they would get on together later, but they might just be over the moon that they have an elephant friend, they would have to put together to find out.
     
  14. Hexaprotodon

    Hexaprotodon Well-Known Member

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    Quite right - from a welfare point of view that would be the best possible outcome. And you have to try to mix them or you'll never know. But I'm just trying to let you know why it might take a lot of planning and time before any move or integration attemp takes place.
     
  15. Junior Friendly

    Junior Friendly Active Member

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    Thanks for your words of sound advice, much appreciated , Ann is having the best done for her, my Dad says her skin condition is excellent so that is a sign that she is good health, she has had three goats put with her in her new house for company, they will perhaps provide a bit of mental stimulation for her and a bit of company but they are goats not Asian elephants, hope you see what I mean, I see that Kate may go to Spain, that is a long long journey for a lady of her age, why not just take her for a ride lasting just a few hours and see how she gets on with Ann, plus Kate has many friends and fans in Blackpool as she has lived there virtually, since this zoo opened, I am sure her fans would much prefer her to be with Ann for company in a new state of the art residence rather than living alone at Blackpool or being sent to some zoo in Spain where they may never hear or see or again
     
  16. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    It is very true that all that has been said above about the risks of sending her to try and join another Elephant, are equally true whether she went to Longleat or to Spain. There's no guarantee she would integrate with the Spanish elephant(s) any more than with Ann at Longleat. The problem is its an individual thing- you almost need to line all the prospective companions up and see which get along, and which don't. With one individual its likely to be 50/50 they get on or don't. Among several there's a better choice of prospective partners and for a 'friendship' being formed.

    The advantages of Longleat would be I. the much shorter journey. 2. if it worked, Anne gets a companion too . 3. Blackpool regulars could still see their last(for now) Elephant in this country. 4. if it failed, its a shorter journey back, though Longleat say they have facilities to hold more elephants- presumably seperated permanently if need be. Spain?; better climate....more chance of compatability and bonding with a 'friend' if a bigger number perhaps.

    When I saw the video of Anne in her new home, I also noticed the very good condition of her skin, so they are obviously doing everything right for her.The goats are a good idea though they can't replace another compatible Elephant- but compatibility is the important keyword here. And as pointed out above, with adult (cow) elephants that are not familiar or related, that can often turn out to be a major problem.
     
    Last edited: 20 Feb 2015
  17. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    To those examples you could add Bristol's last female 'Wendy' and their attempt to give her a companion- 'Maya' who is now at Chester- which did not work out.

    Chester also obtained the solitary female 'Birma' from a french Zoo but three years later sent her away again, I am not sure exactly why but incompatability could have been one cause. And more recently they have sent 'Jangoli' away too. Unrelated individuals in a herd do seem to often cause a problem.
     
  18. Junior Friendly

    Junior Friendly Active Member

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    For those members who are interested Longleat will tomorrow evening be holding a live facebook discussion regarding Ann the elephant between 7 and 8 pm, Mr. Cracknell and other Longleat staff members will be available to answer questions, I think this is a very democratic thing to do rather than just ban people off for asking questions as other zoos have done.:)
     
  19. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    Birma wasn't compatible with Upali - so was sent elsewhere for that reason
     
  20. Junior Friendly

    Junior Friendly Active Member

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    I understand that Blackpool Zoo have ruled out the possibility of Kate joining Ann in her new haven at Longleat as it has been decided that Kate would not make a suitable companion for Ann. I wonder what elephant in that case would make a companion for Ann considering they are both female Asian elephants of a similar age and have both lived with other elephants in the past.:(