George makes his debut big walkabout
Tuesday 5 April 2011
To mark his first birthday he will be joining the herd on their biggest daily adventure – a walk around the giant expanse of the zoo.
He may be the youngest elephant at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, but calf George is a quick learner.
It comes after successful training by his keepers to ensure that George is able to walk trunk to tail without wandering off or getting distracted by the busy zoo.
The jumbo-sized walkabout is a rite of passage for a young elephant calf at Whipsnade and George is following in the footsteps of half sister Donna and big brother Euan.
On the walk George always holds his favourite “aunty” Lucha’s tail with his trunk, while his own tail is held by mum Karishma.
Two and a half miles in length, the route takes in the wonderful views across the Aylesbury Vale from the top of the Chiltern Downs as well as the sights and sounds of the zoo, including the Jumbo Express train, and is a massive bonus for the zoo’s elephants.
George, who is one on April 12th, has made great progress in the last 12 months and has more than doubled in weight. Born weighing 124kg (almost 20 stone) he is now a hefty 536kg.
This Easter visitors will be able to see George and the rest of the herd out on their walk each day during the school holidays. Look out too for the unforgettable elephant talks at 1pm at their barn to find out all about these gentle giants, before they set off.