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ZOO Prague gained two unique elephants from Sri Lanka

Two Sri Lankan elephants were flown to Prague on 6 October 2012 by Sri Lankan Air Force. Two she-elephants Janita and Tamara come from Pinnawela elephants orphanage as a gift from the Government of Sri Lanka.

To get elephants from Sri Lanka is rather unique. „The mere thought of acquiring two elephants from Sri Lanka seemed like a dream two years ago“, says Director of Prague ZOO Mr. Miroslav Bobek. „Nevertheless, we made it true with help of Sri Lankan officials and Ambasador Mr. Miloslav Stašek.“ Owing to Sri Lanka's offer to use its own plane to transfer the animals the Prague zoo will save money for the costly transfer.

Breeding the Sri Lankan elephants in Prague will signifacantly help to extend the genetic base of the European breeding of Indian elephants.

In return, the Prague zoo will send two comodo dragons, two Przewalski horses and two young hippopotamuses to the Colombo zoo.

Tamara and Janita will spend few next months in quarantene. Their Sri Lankan caretakers will stay with them in Prague for 4 weks. To make their acclimatization easier, originál fruit, sugar cane and palm leaves were flown in from Sri Lanka as well.

In spring, the elephanst will move to a newly constructed elephants pavilon.

The Government of Sri Lanka has already gifted two elephants Sundari and Kadir to the Czech Republic 40 years ago.