A Mammoth Baking Challenge

A female Asian elephant was treated to a birthday surprise of mammoth proportions when former Great British Bake Off finalist, Richard Burr, presented her with a specially-designed birthday cake at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo on Tuesday 21 May.

The huge birthday cake, which was created by the five-time ‘Star Baker’ winner for Lucha and her herd to enjoy, is part of the Zoo’s celebrations for the elephant, who turns 37 years old this week. The cake, which Burr claimed was one of his biggest yet, was built on a hay base, and topped with lots of Lucha’s favourite fruit and vegetable treats, including cucumber and bananas.

Richard Burr said: “I’ve always loved elephants, so baking a tasty cake for a magnificent creature like Lucha to savour was an absolute dream come true. 
“Designing a birthday cake for an elephant is not so different from a Great British Bake Off challenge. You have some slightly strange ingredients to work with and a large construction challenge, but that’s what makes it fun. Hopefully, Lucha loved her cake, which featured some of her all-time favourite treats.”

Lucha the elephant eating her birthday cake

The cake isn’t the only epic feat of construction on show at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo this week, as the Zoo’s Great Brick Safari, an exhibition of life-like Lego® brick sculptures re-opens to the public for half-term.

Team Leader of Elephants, Stefan Groeneveld said: “We always love having the Great British Bake Off’s renowned ‘master builder’ here at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, and his presence seems particularly apt this week as we re-launch our Great Brick Safari event.

“Celebrating Lucha’s birthday is not only a fun activity for the whole herd, but also serves as a reminder of the importance of caring for a herd of endangered Asian elephants that contribute to the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), as well as drawing attention to the vital work ZSL and other conservation organisations are doing to protect the species in the wild.”

To visit Lucha or see her Lego brick counterpart at The Great Brick Safari over May half-term, book online

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