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Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm welcomes Uli, the African Elephant

26th March 2024

Uli, an African bull ​elephant, has safely arrived at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm’s 20-acre Elephant Eden, the ​UK’s largest elephant facility and the only bull facility.   

Uli​,13-years-old, from Magdeburg, Germany,​ becomes the fourth ​male ​elephant at the Zoo, joining 32-year-old Shaka, 18-year-old Janu, and 9-year-old.

Having spent ​over 5 years​ in his previous zoo, Uli’s arrival at Noah’s Ark marks a pivotal stage in his development as a bachelor mal​e preparing​​ him to ​ integrat​e​ into a breeding group, benefitting the European endangered species programme for African elephants. His presence contributes significantly to the Zoo’s conservation efforts.

The facilit​y, ​which recently celebrated its 10th birthday,​ plays a key role for the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for African elephants, offering an extensive environment for individual males to live and integrate into a multi-generational group where they can learn from each other and exhibit natural behaviours. Habitats like Elephant Eden are crucial to the successful and healthy management of African elephants as a part of the wider ​European ​zoo community, in recognition of the differing social and spatial needs of male and females.  

Tom Lindley, Elephant Section Leader at Noah’s Ark, commented, “Noah’s Ark provides a much needed environment for Uli’s growth. Young bulls like Uli benefit immensely from the presence of older, more experienced bulls​ who are behavioural role models​. As he matures, Uli will play a role in mentoring younger bulls, contributing to the group dynamics and the welfare of our elephant community.” 

Lindley continued, “We have a detailed integration plan in place for Uli’s arrival. ​Like​ Sutton, who was ​our​ last new arrival, Uli will be gradually introduced to the other males to ensure a smooth transition into the group. In the wild, male elephants naturally group together with other solitary males to form bachelor groups.” 

Recognising the endangered status of African Elephants, listed by the ​International Union for Conservation of Nature (I​UCN​)​, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm and other ​z​oos across Europe understand the significance of coordinated population management within accredited zoos to support global conservation initiatives​ to protect this important species​.​     ​​ 

As a charity, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm’s aims are conservation, education, and wellbeing. Larry Bush, Managing Director of Noah’s Ark said “We are very excited to welcome Uli to Noah’s Ark. Elephants are extraordinary creatures, and it’s a privilege to be able to support him in this vital part of his development.  

Larry Bush continued, “Our state-of-the-art elephant facilities have been thoughtfully designed to cater to their needs, providing separate sleeping areas and ample space for each elephant ​both ​indoors and outdoors. This not only supports international breeding efforts but also enables us to educate our visitors and wider community about these magnificent creatures, fostering a passion for conservation in future generations.”​​​ 

Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of Elephant Eden last month, an important milestone which marks its significant contribution to the international efforts to improve the welfare of elephants living in zoos.​ 

Dr Jo Judge, the CEO of BIAZA said: “Noah’s Ark provides an outstanding environment where Uli can thrive while learning important lessons about what it takes to be a bull elephant. African elephants like Uli are at risk of being lost forever. Zoos such as Noah’s Ark are at the forefront of the fight to conserve elephants now and into the future.

For more information on Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, please visit:

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