UK to Fly 13 Elephants to Kenya in Historic Trip

  • A heard of elephants in Kenya
    A heard of elephants in Kenya
  • UPDATE Wednesday, July 7: Kenyan Government has claimed that it was not consulted by the Aspinall Foundation in its plan to relocate 13 elephants from the UK hence complicating the activity slated for 2022.

    In a statement released by the Ministry of Tourism, the state also claimed that rehabilitation and relocation of an animal from a zoo was an expensive affair.

    "The Ministry wants to state that neither they nor the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) have been contacted or consulted on the matter

    "Relocation and rehabilitation of an animal from from a zoo is not easy and is an expensive affair," read the statement in part.

    The United Kingdom has resorted to flying 13 elephants back to Kenya in a first-of-its-kind trip.

    In a notice to the press on Tuesday, July 6, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's wife Carrie explained that the flight was scheduled to take place in 2020.

    Carrie, who heads the communication department of the Aspinall Foundation, further noted that as much as the UK was a good environment for the animals, they belonged in the Africa's wild.

    The herd currently resides in a British zoo located in Kent.

    UK PM Boris Johnson (right) and his wife Carrie.
    UK PM Boris Johnson (right) and his wife Carrie.

    Carrie further noted that the UK expects the heard to grow in number once in Kenya and help the country's economic rebound from the harsh effects of Covid-19.

    "Life in Kent is pretty good for these elephants, all things considered. But Africa is where they belong. In time, their descendants will number in the hundreds - and then the thousands - and form part of the incomparable ecosystem that helps drive the Kenyan tourist economy," read the statement published in The Sun.

    The foundation further noted that it intended to use specially built crates aboard a Boeing 747, dubbed the Dumbo jet.

    Carrie further noted that once the transportation was complete, the foundation would work together with the Kenyan government to fight poaching.

    The herd contains three children and will be placed in two different sites in Kenya that have been identified by the foundation.

    The Aspinall Foundation operates two wildlife parks in Kent and the operation is the first ever 'rewilding' exercise from the UK.

    In mid-June, the UK government decided to fly 15 dogs and cats back to Scotland after the animals were left stranded in Kenya.

    The UK made the decision after an outcry from the families that had been separated from the pets. The families had flown to Nanyuki, Kenya for a two-year tour of the British Army Training Unit.

    The families were forced to leave their pets in Kenya following a ban by the UK government on travel to red list countries.

    An elephant inside a zoo in Kent, UK managed by the Aspinall Foundation.
    An elephant inside a zoo in Kent, UK managed by the Aspinall Foundation.