Elephant herd get up to no good as they enjoy lockdown at deserted UK zoo – The Sun

ELEPHANTS at a deserted zoo were pictured getting up to no good as they enjoyed the coronavirus lockdown. 

Asian elephant Ming Jung arrived at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire from Antwerp in Belgium last year.

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And while lovelorn Brits are stuck inside during the coronavirus pandemic, the 12-year-old elephant is having much better luck.

He has been introduced to the herd's females, and keepers say he's "obviously smitten".

Now zookeepers are keeping an eye on the female elephants – all of which will undergo scans in the coming weeks.

Elephant pregnancies last around 22 months.

Matthew Webb, ZSL's animals operations manager, said: "We're absolutely delighted that the introductions between Ming Jung and our girls have been so positive.

"We just didn't realise how well they would go.

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"Animal introductions are something we carefully manage to ensure they are all content and ready – the elephants 'meet' over fences first and we observe their behaviour.

"The girls seemed really receptive to Ming Jung, and he is quite obviously smitten with them."

Ming Jung's move to the UK has part of the European Endangered Species Programme, where the breeding programme for an entire species is coordinated to ensure a healthy and genetically diverse population.

Mr Webb said: "Ming Jung is a genetically important animal for the future of the species – he represents a new lineage.

"We work really closely with the elephants and know their personality traits and quirks – so we'll watch those for any signs, and in six weeks a scan should tell us if we can expect a new arrival."

The zoo is currently closed to the public amid the coronavirus crisis, but keepers and pets are continuing to care for the animals inside.




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