Great Britain’s highest circulated tabloid Daily Mail on July 6 published an article claiming the charity run by wife of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Carrie, will fly a herd of elephants from Kent wildlife park to Kenya in a ‘rewilding’ project. The report was based on The Aspinall Foundation announcement wherein they said that 13 elephants weighing over 25 tonnes will be flown over 4,000 miles on a Boeing 747 to a secret location in Kenya for a conservation movement.
The herd of elephants was to include three calves and a 34-year-old matriarch, which currently live on an eight-acre enclosure at Howletts Wild Animal Park, near Canterbury, in Kent. They were to spend six months being observed by conservationists before they are released back into the wild to roam free. The story originally appeared in The Guardian which quoted Damian Aspinall who said that the project will help restore iconic species into its ancestral homeland.
However, the Ministry of Tourism in Kenya has refuted these claims of ‘rewilding’ elephants.
In a statement issued, Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife refuted such claims of ‘rewilding’ elephants and said that neither the ministry nor the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) have been contacted or consulted in this regard. They said that relocating and rehabilitation of an animal from a zoo is not easy and is an expensive affair.