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Plans revealed for Wiltshire elephant sanctuary

Posted on 20th February 2013

Longleat Safari Park is one of the most popular attractions visited by those enjoying Wiltshire cottage holidays, and the latest planning application submitted for the park could see even more visitors flock to the wildlife haven. Reports have revealed that a planning application was submitted this week for the construction of a multi-million pound elephant sanctuary in Wiltshire.

Elephant Sanctuary

The proposed plan is for a 24-acre enclosure to be constructed at Longleat Safari Park which will house four rescued elephants who will be able to benefit from a heated elephant house, automated feeding system, an ‘elephant spa’ and an outdoor space with sand pits, a large grassy paddock, rocks and log piles.

Jonathan Cracknell, Longleat Safari Park’s head of animal operations, has outlined the aims of the elephant sanctuary as a place which will provide the “best habitat possible to encourage natural behaviours” in rescue elephants.

One of the rescue elephants who will be living in the sanctuary, if approval is granted, is Anne, a 58-year-old former circus elephant who was taken into the care of Longleat Safari Park in April after her circus owners were found guilty of abusing her and causing her unnecessary suffering.

The public has responded well to Anne’s plight and has so far donated over £335,000 towards the creation of a custom-made home for Anne and other rescue elephants, something which David Bradley, chief executive of Longleat, has said will partially fund the development.

If the work is approved by the relevant official bodies in Wiltshire, it is hoped that the building of the elephant sanctuary will begin later this year and will be completed in 2014. This new 24-acre elephant sanctuary will have all the facilities to ensure that Anne and other rescue elephants have the quality of life that they deserve, and those staying in holiday cottages in Wiltshire could soon have a new attraction to see in 2014.

Image Credit: quinet (flickr.com)