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Marwell Wildlife Should Marwell exhibit elephants?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by kiang, 12 Apr 2010.

  1. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    As the title says, should Marwell have elephants in its collection, specifically i am thinking of African elephants.
    Now that the land being used for the African bowl has seen the start of development, i thought a large portion of this area could be used for African elephants, the space is there, and with Marwell having one of the most extensive collections of African mammals in the UK, surely elephants would be an iconic species to bring into the park.
    I have read through the years that Marwell do not have the funds to home a group of elephants, but with collections like Belfast, Knowsley, Port Lympne and Colchester having similar attendance levels and similar sized collections, surely Marwell could manage it too.
    The valley would make a spectacular setting for a small herd of elephants, be it a breeding group or not.

    Opinions anyone?
     
  2. Zambar

    Zambar Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you, probably because they're my favourite animal! :p You could easily create an ele paddock in the far west end of the valley, with a big house and sand yard in the overflow car park behind (there's gonna be a bigger one built behind Horsham Copse anyway). Ideally they could make a bachelor group of African bulls, which would solve the problems of many breeding herds when they need to find somewhere to send that maturing male.
    So yes, when you look at other UK zoos with elephants you can see that Marwell could achieve the funds to do so eventually. While there's no knowledge of any real plans, I know that the cheif exec played elephant polo for quite a long time, so maybe he's got an itch at the back of his mind for them. ;) (But hopefully not with the polo! :p)
     
  3. Gary

    Gary Well-Known Member

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    OK idea but no-so expensive to maintain and feed-the whole African Valley would have to be re-fenced with stronger barriers and if the eventual plan is to run truck tours through it, you would have to hotwire the elephant sections which makes a mockery of having a wide open space.

    Also, given the aggressive nature of bull Elephants, an all-bull herd would be a nightmare-when they go into musth, they would need to be penned off securely from each other-you could end up with half a dozen murderous elephants in cages for weeks at a time which would make the idea pointless.
     
  4. BadWolf09

    BadWolf09 Member

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    I'd love to see Elephants at Marwell. There's a lot of space out there. I'm not sure about a Bull group considering the issues with Musth and other problems. But it would be cool to see these animals joining in the collection.
     
  5. HuxleyPig

    HuxleyPig Well-Known Member

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    I spoke to a keeper last summer about the possibility of Elephants and the White Rhinos moving to the African Valley. She said that they'd spent a lot of money doing the fencing for it, and were highly unlikely to redo the fencing so soon. That's not to say that Elephants wouldn't fit in anywhere else. I would love to see them at Marwell, as I haven't actually seen one in well over three years.
     
  6. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    I dunno see the rationale for an elephant exhibit at every zoo or animal park whatsoever. IMO it is part of historical tunnel-vision thinking to somehow be convinced that the general public would not come out if it were not for a collection having elephant-tiger-lion-bear-buffalo-rhino blah blah ... Marwell Wildlife Park is perfectly representative of most faunal groups without elephants being exhibited. It does not fit in with the current collection planning, nor would it do justice to its conservation education, breeding rationale or even its in situ conservation activities.

    Aside: the financial implications would be next to ridiculously high.
     
  7. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I have always thought Elephant 'Polo' must be stressful and tiring for Elephants, making them 'run' (walk at fast past) and turn about etc- I know it is accepted as 'jolly fun' in some rarified circles but to me it is actually a form of Elephant abuse.

    As to whether Marwell should have Elephants- they do have the space in the area others have described above. Their housing- the large barns, yards and reinforced fencing might detract from the appearance of the Landscape though. Overall I think its not a bad idea and Africans would be in keeping with much of the 'style' of the collection nowadays. So I'd give it a thumbs up, I think.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2010
  8. foz

    foz Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, Imagine all the space an elephant exhibit would need which could accomodate alot of smaller species. I like elephants alot but dont see the need for them at an already highly successful zoo.
     
  9. Baldur

    Baldur Well-Known Member

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    Marwell is one of those zoos that definitely would have space for elephants. But I'm concerned about the money it would cost to obtain and keep them. Is Marwell a rich enough for elephants? I would be against them getting elephants if it would mean a cut-back in the collection, including in the ungulate section; perhaps the UK's best along with Whipsnade and the main reason for me to visit Marwell in the future.

    Would members be willing to see a cut-back in species to be seen just so that they can see elephants? Marwell has managed to become one of the UK's best known and respected zoos in its almost 40 years of existence. Would elephants do anything more for them than it has already archived or is capable of with what it has at present or will be getting?

    Marwell is in a peaceful Hampshire countryside. They have no 'controversial' species such as dolphins or polar bears and enough space for what they have; so CAPS, Born Free and the like probably think they are better off fighting against the keeping of a Polar Bear in a spacious new exhibit up in the Scottish Highlands or against the fine and modern Colchester Zoo getting more lions (please spot the sarcasm). My concern is that bringing in elephants would mean a declared war from Born Free and the like. And while Marwell and its staff are no doubt strong enough to handle it, I really think they have better things to do.
     
    Last edited: 14 Apr 2010