Dublin Zoo's newest arrival and largest resident, the Asian bull elephant Upali, made his public debut at the Zoo today, Monday July 9.
The 17-year-old, who is three metres tall and weighs over 6,000kgs, arrived at his new, purpose-built home at midnight on Thursday July 5, having travelled from Chester Zoo.
He joins three breeding females - sisters Bernhardine and Yasmin, and Yasmin’s calf Anak – at the Zoo, with the elephants expected to mate soon.
Leo Oosterweghel, Director at Dublin Zoo, said: "Upali’s arrival is a hugely significant occasion for us as part of the international breeding programme.
"We are especially pleased to have Minster Brian Hayes [Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW)] with us today to celebrate the arrival of Upali and opening of the Bull Elephant House.
"We are also very grateful to the Government and the OPW for the funding and technical support they have provided over the past 18 years.
"Without the commitment from the Government we could not have transformed Dublin Zoo into Ireland’s number one family attraction with over one million visitors per annum.”
For more on Upali, Bernhardine, Yasmin, Anak and baby Asha, and the Kaziranga Forest Trail, visit: www.dublinzoo.ie.