08-07-2021 by Leni Frau
Fortunately for elephants, as it seems for most animals, there are no delta variants and if they do travel, at least they don't have to observe quarantine and swabs.
So it will be elephants travelling from London to Nairobi on what has already been dubbed the 'Dumbo Jet', the Boeing 747 chartered by the British Aspinall Foundation, an animal welfare organisation that is trying to repopulate the continent by removing as many wild animals as possible from European zoos and circuses and returning them to conservancies where they will be gradually reintroduced into their natural habitat.
Thanks to the foundation, whose head of communications is Carrie Johnson, wife of British Prime Minister Boris, thirteen elephants that are currently guests of a small zoo in the English region of Kent, in the south-east of the island, will board a special aircraft for a "rewilding" operation never before dared in terms of "weight" and intention.
In the belly of the Boeing, 13 crates built specifically for the size of the pachyderms will be placed, which will be transferred from their large cages near the town of Canterbury, to the immense spaces of a Kenyan reserve, following a scheme already successfully carried out last year, when two cheetahs from the same zoo were transferred to South Africa.
The Damian Aspinall Foundation, in a statement published in the British newspaper 'The Sun', made it clear that the elephants were not ill at ease in Kent and that the zoo was, on balance, a happy environment for them, but undoubtedly their best life is in Africa.
"This is the first time an entire herd of elephants has been released back into the wild," they said, adding that the operation is planned for next year. "In time, their descendants will number in the hundreds, thousands, and will be part of the incomparable ecosystem that helps sustain Kenya's tourism economy. Who knows, maybe other wildlife parks, zoos and circuses will take a leaf out of this book and, with the help of sponsors, decide to do the same.
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