The 13 elephants live at Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent, southern England, and will be flown more than 7,000 kilometers (4,350 miles) to Kenya.
Twelve of the elephants were born and raised in Kent and one was born in Israel. None of the animals have ever lived in the wild. The group weighs 25 tons in total and includes three calves. It will be the first time that a herd of elephants has been “rewilded” in the world.
Rewilding aims to restore ecosystems to a natural state, and often involves the reintroduction of native animals.
The Aspinall Foundation said that it hopes the project will discourage the global trade in elephants and encourage the return of animals to the wild where possible, adding that no elephants belong in captivity.
“As with any conservation project of this magnitude, there are obviously big risks, but we consider them well worth it to get these magnificent elephants back into the wild where they belong.” said Damian Aspinall, chairman of the Aspinall Foundation.
Source: CNN Travel