The reason that ADI has supported the move of Annie the elephant to Longleat Safari Park as an initial place of safety, is that it has an empty elephant house with no other elephants, as Anne needs to be quarantined for a while and receive specialist care.
Obviously in the long term, we wish to see her in a position where she can hear and touch other elephants as she wishes.
At Longleat, she will receive expert care and ADI will be able to monitor her progress and some of our experts will be able to contribute to the decisions about her future. Poor Anne has a lot of health problems, from the poor food, from standing chained to the floor for long periods of time, she has abscesses and she has arthritis in her back legs.
No decisions about the long-term future can be made yet. The objective at this first stage, will be to bring Anne up to a state of the best possible level of fitness. She is an elderly lady, but having filmed and monitored her over more than a decade, we feel that she is a survivor. Her companions Beverly and Janie died in the winter quarters in 2001, so little Annie has really hung in there. Although she is timid and shy, we think she is quite a determined old girl. We would estimate that in about 1-3 months, the veterinary surgeons will have a better idea of her long-term prospects. That is when a final decision will be made about her permanent home.
Many of our supporters will remember that many years ago, Longleat was run by the notorious Chipperfield family. However, they severed their ties with Longleat many years ago. This move does not indicate ADI’s support of captive wildlife but we are taking a practical approach in that Anne needs to be somewhere with the facilities to care for her.