As the weather continues to warm up and with temperatures soaring, the Asian elephants at Woburn Safari Park are cooling down.
There was much excitement over at the Elephant Meadow as the elephants met their frozen match in the form of a 400kg ice sculpture.
Elephant keepers watched as the females of the herd approached the sculpture and tentatively investigated its curves with their trunks. It didn’t take long for them to find their courage, to give their freezing new friend a good probe with their trunks. Testing its temperature and its resistance to their touch, 27 year-old female, Chandrika soon had it toppled over and the herd enjoyed using their enormous feet to break it up into pieces.
The ice elephant was created by professional sculptors, Funky Ice, in the Elephant Meadow while the elephants grazed in the pasture alongside the Road Safari. It was built under a gazebo tent to prevent it from melting while it was being sculpted.
The ice sculpture was commissioned as part of Woburn Safari Park’s enrichment programme, designed to stimulate the elephant’s curiosity and encourage natural foraging behaviours. Woburn is committed to developing new and innovative enrichment techniques for all the animals at the Park.
Darren Fellowes, Team Leader, Elephants said “Elephants are very intelligent and sociable mammals so it’s important for us to provide them with plenty of enrichment to keep them stimulated. On a practical level the ice also helps to cool them down in this hot weather.”
There are five Asian Elephants living at Woburn Safari Park, including four females – Yu-Zin, Damini, Chandrika and calf Tarli, along with one male – Raja.