UK: Zoo in Devon will no longer keep elephants as it cannot meet their needs

Apr 6, 2022 | News

By Sami Quadri – Evening Standard

A zoo in Devon has announced it will no longer keep elephants as it is unable to meet their needs.

Paignton Zoo made the difficult decision after its last elephant Duchess died in 2019.

It came following the death of her companion Gay – one of two elephants ever owned by the zoo – in 2010.

The zoo explained it will no longer host the animals following the deaths of the elephants who lived there.

A recent blog post on its website read: “Elephants are highly intelligent and have very complex social and behavioural needs.

“As much as we loved Duchess (and her companion, Gay) and as popular as she was with our visitors, we do not believe that we can provide the necessary environment for elephants here at Paignton.”

However, the zoo vowed it will continue to support elephant conservation in the wild.

It added: “We have been working to protect the Omo Forest Reserve in Nigeria since 1997 and this is one of the last remaining places in Nigeria where forest elephants still survive.

“Visitors are therefore still helping protect elephants when they visit our zoo, even though we no longer have any here.”

Paignton Zoo added it will also be welcoming new arrivals in the summer.

These include four species of frog, four species of newt, one lizard, two fish and six invertebrates.

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