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Usti zoo to adopt elephant "orphans" from Sri Lanka
[December 23, 2005]

Usti zoo to adopt elephant "orphans" from Sri Lanka

(Czech News Agency)USTI NAD LABEM, North Bohemia, Dec 23 (CTK) - The zoological garden in Usti nad Labem may become a new home for one or two elephants from "an elephant orphanage" in Sri Lanka, zoo veterinarian Vaclav Pozivil has told CTK.

The elephants are to be a gift from the Sri Lankan government to the Czech Republic for its aid to remove the consequences of the natural disaster that hit this southeast Asian country last December.

The Czech Environment Ministry has already sent the necessary guarantees to the Sri Lankan government, assuring that the elephants will get a good care in the Czech Republic, Pozivil said.

Moreover, the zoo in Ostrava, north Moravia, should "adopt" two to three elephants from Sri Lanka.

The idea to transport elephants from Sri Lanka to the Czech Republic was proposed in February when Pozivil helped in Sri Lanka as a rescuer.

He pointed out that the country must still solve a number of problems after last year's tsunami so it would welcome if the Czech Republic took care of elephants from the orphanage.

Pozivil said he believes that all officials in charge would support the project, so the elephants could move to their new homes in Ostrava and Usti nad Labem next year.

The Usti zoo has kept two female Indian elephants Delhi and Kala from Vietnam since the 1980s. However, the breeders do not know their exact age.

Last year, Delhi was delivered of a stillborn calf after artificial fertilisation. Vets however hope that Delhi can be inseminated again and that the second attempt will be more successful.


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