The Sri Lankan Government will gift a second elephant to the New Zealand and an agreement in this regard was signed yesterday (24) in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena and visiting New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in Colombo.
President Maithripala Sirisena presented a deed of ownership for five-year-old "Nandi" during a red-carpet welcome in Colombo for Key, who arrived for a two-day official visit.
Prime Minister Key welcomed the signing of an agreement between Auckland Zoo and the Sri Lankan Government, which will see the zoo, gifted a second elephant, a statement from the office of the New Zealand Prime Minister said.
“New Zealand’s weather seems to agree with Sri Lankan elephants with the first, Anjalee, putting on 700 kilograms in her first year in Auckland,” Key said.
“The second elephant will prove a great draw-card for tourists and locals alike. This is another example of the close and growing relationship between our countries and I thank the Sri Lankan Government for entrusting us with her,” he stated.
In return Auckland Zoo will help with Sri Lanka’s management of its own elephant population, as well as help train Sri Lankan wildlife workers.
Sri Lanka has a long history of giving elephants as presents, with China gifted three over the years, and two each for Japan, South Korea, the Czech Republic and the United States.