An endangered female elephant will be reunited with her mum and meet her sister in a zoo in Switzerland for the first time in nearly three decades.
Panang will return to her old home after she was separated from her mum Ceyla-Himali, 48, and her dad Maxi, at the age of six, and taken to the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich, Germany, in 1995.
The 34-year-old Asian elephant, a species listed as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, is expected to move back in at the Zurich Zoo later this month.
There, she will be reunited with her mum, and meet her little sister Farha, 18, for the first time.
Zurich Zoo director Severin Dressen said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “We assume that Ceyla-Himali will recognise her daughter again even after 28 years of separation and will then convince Farha to accept Panang into her ranks from now on.”
In addition to rejoining her family, Panang, will also meet young Thai, a male Asian elephant zookeepers have set her on a date with.
Dressen said: “We are pleased that, after the drastic loss of young animals due to the herpes virus in 2022, we will be able to expand our elephant group again with the arrival of Panang, and thus be able to contribute to the conservation of endangered Asian elephants in the future.”
Panang and her family are set to live at the zoo’s Kaeng Krachan Elephant Park, a 90,900-square-foot enclosure that was completed in 2014.
It currently hosts Asian elephants, as well as other species, in a nature-inspired habitat topped by a 73,200-square-foot shell roof made primarily from wood.
Dressen emphasised the importance of conserving Asian elephants, whose are estimated at around 50,000 individuals in the wilderness.
However, their numbers are decreasing, said the zoo director.
He added: “We need internationally coordinated breeding in zoos to build up a reserve population so that we can protect endangered elephants from extinction in the future.”
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
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