Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

A Second Elephant Set For Export From Sri Lanka To Auckland Zoo

18 March 2016

Categories: Homepage News, Elephants Campaign News, Zoo Check Campaign News, Sri Lanka News

It has been reported that an elephant has been gifted by the President of Sri Lanka to Auckland Zoo, New Zealand, for the second time in 12 months. 

President Maithripala Sirisena presented a deed of ownership for the 5 year old elephant, Nandi, during a visit by the New Zealand Prime Minister in February 2015. 

Nandi will be the second elephant sent to the zoo within the past year. Both Anjali and Nandi were residents of Pinnewala Elephant “Orphanage”, a controversial Government-owned facility in Sri Lanka. The Born Free Foundation has repeatedly raised concerns about the conditions at Pinnewala, and about the practice of exporting elephants from Sri Lanka to captive facilities such as zoos overseas.

The first elephant, Anjali, was apparently separated from the rest of the herd at Pinnewala for four months, then spent three months in quarantine on the tiny Pacific island of Nuie before being taken to Auckland Zoo. 

Chris Draper, spokesman for the Born Free Foundation, said: “We are urgently calling on the governments of the countries involved to reconsider this move. Exporting elephants from range states to overseas zoos is ill-conceived, unsustainable and inhumane. We firmly believe that this proposed export to New Zealand will result in little or no conservation benefit to wild elephants, and come at a significant cost to the welfare of the individual elephant involved. Public concern for elephants and their welfare is increasing globally, and there is a groundswell of opposition to keeping elephants in zoos.” 

Born Free has previously written to the Premier of Niue, Hon. Toke Talagi, urging him to reconsider his country's role in the transfer of the elephants, and to the Auckland City authorities responsible for the Zoo.


Born Free is urging anyone who is concerned about the exportation of the elephants from Sri Lanka to Auckland Zoo, to politely contact both Regional Facilities Auckland and the New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, explaining how you feel about the situation. 

Regional Facilities Auckland

Level 4, Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland 1010

Mailing Address - Private Bag 92340, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142

Phone: +64 (09) 309 2677


New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key

Phone: +64 (09) 301 0101


Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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