United Kingdom

Elephant killed in his sleep by another male at British zoo

A zoo has launched an investigation after one of its bull elephants fatally injured another in a brutal night-time attack.

M'Changa, a 12-year-old African elephant, had been sleeping when the other bull struck in the early hours.

He died shortly after the incident at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, near Wraxall, North Somerset.

On Saturday, the Mail told of the Government's plans to ban keeping elephants in zoos or safari parks.

Noah's Ark has three bull elephants as part of its 20-acre Elephant Eden facility.

The elephants have 24-hour access to the outside areas and the zoo has previously won awards for best practice.

A zoo has launched an investigation after one of its bull elephants fatally injured another in a brutal night-time attack. M'Changa (pictured), a 12-year-old African elephant, had been sleeping when the other bull struck in the early hours

M'Changa was transferred to the UK from Boras Zoo in Sweden in 2014. Noah's Ark is also home to males Janu, 16, and Shaka, 29.

Shaka arrived from a zoo in Vienna in 2018. It was the first time he had been successfully integrated into another group of elephants.

At the time zookeepers hoped the move would see Shaka act as a 'dominant bull' and a mentor to the two younger males.

Zoo officials said Janu and Shaka were not injured but declined to name the attacker.

Larry Bush, managing director of Noah's Ark Zoo Farm, said: 'The Noah's Ark team are incredibly passionate about all the animals at the zoo and M'Changa's loss will be felt very deeply.

M'Changa was transferred to the UK from Boras Zoo in Sweden in 2014. Noah's Ark is also home to males Janu, 16, and Shaka, 29. Pictured: Elephants at Noah's Ark [File photo]

'He will be missed dearly by all staff as well as our members and visitors. We will continue to help promote and contribute to the conservation of elephants into the future.'

Noah's Ark's elephants have been key in conservation efforts and the bulls can be transferred to other zoos to contribute to breeding programmes.

In the wild, male elephants often leave their family herd in adolescence and club together with other solitary bulls to form bachelor groups.

Typically the group has one large dominant bull who will sort out any disputes and can put on displays of dominance.

The Government is due to receive the results of a report on the welfare of elephants in captivity and is expected to block any additions to the current population.

There are 50 elephants in 11 zoos and safari parks in the UK, including Woburn, Whipsnade, Colchester and Chester.

Noah's Ark's elephants have been key in conservation efforts and the bulls can be transferred to other zoos to contribute to breeding programmes

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