Blackpool Zoo is home to one female Asian elephant, Kate. Originating from the open grasslands, marshes, savannahs and tropical forests of India, Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka, this species is currently classed as endangered mainly due to illegal hunting and habitat loss to deforestation and farming.
Asian elephants live between 60 and 70 years and can produce a single calf every two years as pregnancy lasts for 22 months, longer than any other land mammal. The calves weigh much the same at birth as an adult human being. Twin calves have been known but are extremely rare.
They travel long distances looking for food, including grasses, leaves, trees and shrubs. In the Zoo, elephants are fed on horse and pony pellets, fruit, vegetables, bran, hay, straw, browse and vitamins. Their liking for trees and crops does not endear them to local farmers and residents as they cause so much damage, and conservation projects are in place to educate local villagers in living harmoniously with their huge neighbours.
For more information about Kate's future and our Elephant House redevelopment, please click here.