19 Mar 2015

Quarantined elephant settles in Niue

6:05 pm on 19 March 2015

Auckland Zoo says Niueans and tourists to Niue will soon be able to visit an elephant currently quarantined on the island.

Elephant Anjalee lifted into quarantine facility in Niue

Elephant Anjalee lifted into quarantine facility in Niue Photo: supplied

Auckland Zoo Head of Life Sciences Kevin Buley said eight-year-old Anjalee travelled from an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka on a chartered commercial airline to Auckland, where she was loaded onto an Air Force Hercules to Niue.

He said he was with her for the whole journey and she coped very well, and was now sleeping and eating while she adjusted to her new environment.

He said the Niuean public welcomed Anjalee over the weekend and would be able to see her from next week until she leaves Niue for Auckland in June.

"So it's very important to us that we don't just use Niue as a quarantine station but that we're taking every opportunity for the Niueans and for tourists to Niue to be able to view Anjalee, and learn about elephants and the conservation of elephants in the wild," he said.

"So as part of the quarantine facility design we've included a viewing deck."

Mr Buley said the zoo was hoping Anjalee would be ready to contribute to New Zealand's elephant breeding programme in about three years.

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