Expatica news

Heavyweight to mate with five Dutch elephants

26 April 2004

AMSTERDAM — Calimero has been brought to Holland on a mammoth mission – he is to mate with five elephant cows. Fortunately, he is reputed to be the biggest and strongest male elephant in Europe.

Staff at the Beekse Bergen safari park near Tilburg said on Monday that Calimero had to be transported in a specially-built container from a zoo in Basel, Switzerland, because of his 3.4 metres shoulder height and 7,000 kilo weight.

Calimero’s trip to the Netherlands is part of the European breeding initiatives for zoos. The safari park became eligible for his services as its five elephant cows are sexually mature.

Born in Zimbabwe in 1980, Calimero has spent all but two years of his life in Europe.

Precautions have been put in place to ensure his Casinova impulses don’t get the better of him and he decides to sneak out at night to meet his consorts. The walls of his enclosure are 35 cm thick and made of hardened concrete. The 2-cm steel bars that make up the fencing are five metres high.

During the day he can avail of a special “meeting place” to mate with the female elephants, which will carry any resulting young for 22 months.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news