Next month we’ll be rolling out the red carpet in preparation for a very royal visit. HRH The Princess Royal will officially open our 20-acre ‘Elephant Eden’ habitat, which is the largest in northern Europe.
Dubbed a ‘five-star hotel for elephants’, Elephant Eden is home to our two African bull elephants, Janu and M’Changa. The complex has been applauded for its contribution to the ongoing welfare improvements within the industry and has been used as an example of best practice for other zoos around the world. Most recently, colleagues from a zoo in Japan have been using Elephant Eden as a model on which to base their own building plans.
One of the reasons Elephant Eden has been deemed such a success is that it gives our elephants access to a large, enriched environment. Janu and M’Changa are free to roam in a natural way, promoting mental and physical activity and development. Automated feeders and deep sand yards help encourage natural feeding behaviour and good foot health, respectively.
As well as the space, Elephant Eden also boasts state-of-the-art facilities such as a swimming pool, hot and cold showers, a central heating system, and automatic doors. Everything you would expect from a luxury hotel, don’t you think? Needless to say, we are extremely proud of Elephant Eden and think it befits the royal opening.
We have many amazing animals at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, but alongside our two beautiful African lions called Masai and Arusha, the elephants are our most naturally regal animals. Having a royal guest to celebrate these glorious, gigantic animals seems particularly fitting.
Speaking about next month’s visit, the owner of Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm Anthony Bush comments: “We’re delighted to prepare for our first Royal visit at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, it is a real honour for our team.”
“We’re very proud of Elephant Eden and the high standards it has set for elephant welfare and we are looking forward to showing it to HRH The Princess Royal.”
As well as taking a tour of the elephant barn and facilities, Her Royal Highness will also meet staff and visitors and the brand new children’s Elephant Play Zone will also be open for use for children.
The Elephant Play Zone is the latest of our many play areas dotted around the zoo. The younger members of your party will love these play areas. The indoor play barns are all fully heated and offer soft play, slides, mazes, trampolines and more, while the outdoor adventure playgrounds offer a great selection of pools, zip lines, climbing wall and a climbable Noah’s Ark (of course!). Meanwhile, the centre-piece of the new Elephant Play Zone is an impressive 4-metre high model elephant that features a built-in slide.
As well as HRH The Princess Royal’s officiation, the grand opening of Elephant Eden will also be officially dedicated by the Bishop of Bath and Wells, a senior and well respected figure within the Church of England.
HRH The Princess Royal will be visiting Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm on 17 December, and her visit will ensure that Janu and M’Changa have a ‘Nelly’ Merry Christmas this year. We hope you do too.