Kenya on Wednesday expressed concern about plans by an animal welfare organization to fly a herd of elephants from a UK zoo to the African country for “rewilding”. The Kent-based Aspinall Foundation had previously announced that it would bring a total of 13 elephants with a Boeing 747, the so-called Dumbo Jet, from southern England to their new home, 7,000 kilometers away. In addition, he will also work with anti-poaching teams to ensure the long life of the transported herd, which includes three calves.
However, the Kenyan Department for Tourism and Wildlife denied having been informed of the relocation, saying it had “noted with concern” reports in the UK media of what the charity called the first of its kind rewilding. “The ministry would like to announce that neither they nor the Kenya Wildlife Service have been contacted or consulted on this matter,” the ministry said. In addition, the move and rehabilitation was “not an easy” and “expensive affair”.
The Aspinall Foundation remained adamant, however, assuring that the operation was scheduled for next year and that it would be the first time a breeding herd of elephants has been reintroduced. The conservation foundation is headed by Boris Carrie Johnson, wife of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Speaking to media reporters about the project, Carrie stressed that rehabilitation would strengthen Kenya’s post-pandemic economy. On top of that, she also said that Africa is where the tusks belong and it would be great for all 13 animals. “Life in Kent is pretty good for these elephants, all in all. But Africa is where they belong, “she said in an article published in the UK media.
According to experts, rewilding is a concept used to reverse the behavior of animals that normally live near human settlements. The aim is to get them used to the wild habitat again.