Plans to move elephants from Belfast zoo 'not a done deal'

2023-09-07 13:32:48  • 4 mins

By Claire Graham


A plan to move Belfast Zoo's remaining elephants to the Netherlands is "not a done deal," according to the Dutch zoo's manager.

Asian elephants Dhunja and Yhetto have been residents in Belfast since 2009.

Earlier this week Belfast City Council gave permission for them to travel to Royal Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem, following a recommendation.

However, the manager of the Dutch zoo has said he is now unsure whether or not the elephants will be moved.

Checks, assessments and post-Brexit paperwork will be a big hurdle to the move, according to Arun Idoe.

"We're not sure if we're going to move the elephants from Belfast to Holland," he explained.

"We started the initial talks with Belfast Zoo and one of the things that had to be taken (into consideration) was permission from Belfast council to move these two elephants."

Like Belfast Zoo, Burgers' Zoo is a retirement home for elderly adult cow elephants within the Elephant European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) , the manager said.

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