West Midland Safari Park announces the arrival of elephant named Coco.

West Midland Safari Park has announced the recent arrival of a bull African elephant, named Coco.

The 23-year-old male arrived at the Park on 9 August 2023 and has spent his first few days meeting his new keepers and settling into his new home. 
Coco was identified as a suitable match for the Park’s female elephant, Five, and keepers hope that the pair will successfully breed in the future, supporting the EEP (EAZA Ex-situ Programme) for African elephant conservation. 
His arrival follows the departure of Five’s son, Sutton, who moved to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm in May, to join a bachelor herd of elephants.   
Andy Plumb, Head Keeper of Elephants said:

“The team are very excited to welcome Coco to the Park. Having recently moved Sutton to another zoo, to continue his path to adulthood, Coco will be a great companion for Five, our 31-year-old female, and we hope they form a strong bond.  
“The move went very smoothly and the arrival of an experienced male like Coco at the Park, will hopefully enable us to achieve our goals of becoming a successful breeding group in the future. We’re looking forward to introducing him to all our guests.” 
Coco has already sired calves, both at his previous home in the UK and at Cabarceno Zoo Obregon, in Spain, where he was born on 14 June 2000. 
The next step for Coco is to continue to introduce him to his new habitat, including outdoor pools, mud wallows, state-of-the-art elephant house, dust baths and feeding areas. As a member of BIAZA, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums, West Midland Safari Park adheres to the highest standards in the world when caring for elephants. 
When Coco is fully settled, he will then be slowly introduced to Five, by allowing them to meet in neighbouring outdoor paddocks. 
African elephants face an uncertain future and are listed as ‘endangered’ by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), with the wild population declining due to poaching for their ivory and loss of habitat.
Therefore, it’s ever more important for wildlife collections to work together to ensure the preservation of endangered species such as African elephants, alongside providing the best standards of animal welfare. 
West Midland Safari Park is partnered with the charity Tusk, which supports ‘in the field’ conservation through the Mali Elephant Project. This project protects a unique population of 550 sub-desert elephants and the Park annually fundraises, donates and raises awareness for this cause.  
Coco can be seen in the four-mile safari drive-through, which is included in the admission charge and the best prices can be booked online in advance. 
Further information about West Midland Safari Park is available from the Park’s website at wmsp.co.uk.


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