Cologne welcomes SingaporeZoo's most famous elephant

29th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

30 September 2004 , SINGAPORE - The Singapore Zoo's most famous elephant headed to Germany to be part of a conservation programme at the Cologne Zoo, its former keepers said. The five-year-old Sang Raja, which means Royal King in Malay, walked this week into a wooden crate and departed for the 20-hour flight by cargo plane. "There are about 30,000 Asian elephants in the world and fewer than 30 breeding males in captivity," said Singapore Zoo general curator Ken Gold. "If zoos don't conserve them, they will

30 September 2004

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Zoo's most famous elephant headed to Germany to be part of a conservation programme at the Cologne Zoo, its former keepers said.

The five-year-old Sang Raja, which means Royal King in Malay, walked this week into a wooden crate and departed for the 20-hour flight by cargo plane.

"There are about 30,000 Asian elephants in the world and fewer than 30 breeding males in captivity," said Singapore Zoo general curator Ken Gold. "If zoos don't conserve them, they will become extinct in 50 years."

Sang Raja was the first male elephant born in captivity in Singapore. He shot to fame when the zoo appealed for cash to help pay for his daily 25-litre milk diet. Donations from the public amounted to USD 53,000.

The zoo already had a breeding male and no facilities to accommodate another. Sang Raja now eats about 80 kilograms of fruits and vegetables a day and weighs 1.3 tonnes.
Any bigger and he would not fit into a cargo aircraft, said Cologne Zoo assistant director Olaf Behlert, who accompanied Sang Raja on the flight along with Singapore Zoo keeper Seya Rama Sadyan.

The elephant's new home is a 2 hectare facility officially opened 10 days ago.

Sang Raja will live with five other elephants, Behlert said.

DPA

Subject: German news

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