Animal activists are urging a wildlife park to allow ‘Britain’s loneliest elephant’ to retire in France.
Anne spent over 50 years at a circus. She was brutally beaten and caught performing scams before being rescued in 2011 and has since been residing at the Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.
The Asian elephant lives in a fully-heated £2.1 million purported home, where it roams freely day and night.
Sadly, the elephant is alone and hasn’t seen other elephants for at least 19 years.
The Action for Elephants UK and Animal Defenders International says she should be sent to Elephant Haven in Limousin, France. They said they had also offered to fund the transport to enjoy her final years.
Talking to the Mirror, the charities told that Anne is believed to be around 61-year-old, should be sent to the south of France. The place she can spend her time with other elephants and the warmer weather will help her arthritis.
Actress Joanna Lumley backed this campaign and said that: “It is cruel and unnatural that an intelligent, highly social female elephant has locked up alone, and she has lived alone all the time, 19 years.
“Indifferent and depressed, she has nothing to enrich or excite her – her life is a monotonous, uninterrupted life.
“It is time for Longleat to do the right thing and free her to a sanctuary. The place she will be able to fulfill all her wants and finally be able to live among other elephants, as nature reserved.”
However, Longleat Safari Park has warned that transferring the elephant could be fatal to the older animal.
Longleat Safari Park stated that: “We truly understand and sympathize with some people’s strong point that. Despite all the elephant’s particular problems, she will enjoy the benefit from other elephants’ companionship.
“Elephants are social creatures; in the wild, elephants live in large families.
“This is the life that she should have been. However, unfortunately, this isn’t the case.”
“She is now an elderly woman, with limited mobility and severe physical and mental health issues. Who has been systematically abused for decades and bullied both other elephants and humans.
“Take her from her familiar surroundings and people she has learned to trust for over a decade.
Take her to a new, unknown location with the prospect of being left behind, with another elephant she didn’t know. In the hope that it would somehow significantly improve her living conditions seemed an extremely high-risk strategy.”
The park also reported that the French reserve had not contacted them directly.