Elephantastic Leelee’s no diva
Tuesday 22 July 2008
Leelee, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s youngest female calf, is starring in the new Elephantastic! demonstration.
Visitors will get to see the loveable one-year-old demonstrate how she is being trained to lift her feet and lie on her side for regular health checks.
She will also demonstrate how elephants are used to move logs in the Asian logging industry – but while the bigger elephants can push a large tree trunk, little Leelee will use a ball.
Led by trained elephant keepers, the daily event will explore the relationship between man and elephants. Asian elephants have been used as working elephants for thousands of years in countries such as Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and India.
Keepers will explain how elephants in the wild face daily human conflict in their search for habitat, especially as logging industries use them to destroy their own forests. One important aim of the shows is to inform visitors what can be done to help the situation.
Leelee is one of three Asian elephants in the dynamic display in a brand new £250,000 purpose-built arena with close-up, tiered seating for 800 people.
The daily demonstrations begin at 2.30pm and runs throughout the summer. Each one lasts for approximately 20 minutes and is free to zoo visitors.
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Here's a look at Leelee in action in Elephantastic: