Charities Say 'Britain's Loneliest Elephant' Needs To Be With Other Elephants
Animal activists are urging a wildlife park to allow 'Britain's loneliest elephant' to 'retire' in France.
Anne spent more than 50 years at a circus where she was cruelly beaten and made to perform tricks before she was rescued in 2011, and has since resided at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.
The Asian elephant currently lives in a fully heated, £2.1 million purpose-built home where she's free to roam about day or night.
But sadly Anne is all alone and has not seen another elephant for at least 19 years.
Now, Action for Elephants UK and Animal Defenders International say Anne should be sent to the Elephant Haven in Limousin, France, which they say has also offered to fund the transportation, so she can enjoy her final years.
Speaking to the Mirror, the charities said Anne, who is thought to be around 61, should be sent out to the south of France where she can spend time with other elephants, and the warmer weather will help her arthritis.
The campaign has the backing of actor and Joanna Lumley who told the Mirror: "It's unnatural and cruel for a highly intelligent, social female elephant to be confined alone, and Anne has been on her own for 19 years.
"Listless and dejected, she has nothing to enrich or stimulate her - her life is one of uninterrupted monotony.
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"It's time now for Longleat to do the right thing and release her to sanctuary, where she will have all her needs met and can finally live among other elephants, as nature intended."
However, Longleat Safari Park has warned that moving Anne could be fatal for the elderly animal.
In a statement, Longleat Safari Park told the Mirror: "We genuinely understand and sympathise with the strongly held views some people have that, despite all of Anne's very specific issues, she would benefit from the company of other elephants.
"Elephants are social animals, in the wild they live in extended family groups.
"This is the life Anne should have had. However, and very sadly, this is unfortunately not the case.
"She is now a very, elderly lady, with limited mobility and serious, underlying physical and mental health issues, who has undergone systematic abuse over decades and been subjected to bullying; both by humans and other elephants.
"Uprooting her from familiar surroundings and people she has learnt to trust over more than a decade, and transporting her to a new, unknown location with the prospect of being left in the company of other elephants she does not know, in the hope it will somehow markedly improve her living conditions would appear to be an extremely high risk strategy."
The park has also said the French sanctuary has not been in touch with them directly.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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