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Young Elephants Explore Beekse Bergen’s Elephant Valley for the First Time

Hilvarenbeek, NL, May 14, 2024 - The three young elephants at Beekse Bergen have explored the Elephant Valley for the first time. This large habitat is entirely new to the calves; previously, they resided in an adjacent enclosure.

In their new environment, there was a lot to discover, says head zookeeper Yvonne Vogels. "The herd behaved naturally, with the young ones staying nicely in the middle of the group and constantly staying together. Later, the calves became a bit more adventurous and wandered a bit further from their mothers. It was truly wonderful to see how they behaved!"

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New Area

Since the announcement of the three elephants' pregnancies at the beginning of 2023, much effort has gone into expanding the elephant enclosure. The habitat has been extended by 2 hectares to provide ample space for the entire herd, including the calves.

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There are also many new elements in the enclosure that are novel for the elephants. For example, there are multiple barriers in the paddock, allowing them to hide from each other. There's a shallow clay pool where they can roll in the mud and a large water pool. The valley is also much hillier, giving the elephants the opportunity to explore different heights.

Three Young Elephants

Recently, three African elephants were born within four months: Mosi, Ajabu, and Tendai. The calves are doing very well, each weighing over 150 kilos.

A few weeks ago, they also met their father Yambo for the first time. The calves and the rest of the herd immediately got along well. Vogels says, "The calves play together constantly and are very curious. They are also enthusiastically exploring this new habitat together."

New Area

The new Elephant Valley is one of the various enclosures housing the entire elephant herd of Beekse Bergen. In total, there are eleven African elephants in the Safari Park. Recently, Nile antelopes and Defassa waterbucks have also started using the valley.

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In recent years, the entire area around the valley has been renovated, with a renewed rhino plain in 2022, the Elephant Valley last year, and later this year, the renewed African Village will open.

Northern Corridors Project

With the expansion of the herd in the Safari Park, Beekse Bergen is also drawing attention to African elephants in the wild. Together with Stichting Wildlife, the park supports the Northern Corridors Project of Save the Elephants. This project connects nature reserves in Kenya by creating corridors: safe passages for wildlife, such as elephants.

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Images: Beekse Bergen/Mariska Vermij-van Dijk