It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you and so I thought I’d write a letter to let you know how I am settling in in my new home. Although it took me some time to get established and learn about how various things operated here, I have now become fully accustomed to my new surroundings.

Zo�, my new keeper, has been extremely kind in helping me get used to Whipsnade. My new elephant friends are also extremely welcoming and have shown me and taught me a lot of new fun activities. I felt a bit awkward in the first few days because I didn’t think that I would fit in, but Zo� soon made sure that I was properly introduced to the others and they quickly accepted me because of the new experiences and tales that I brought with me.

There was one thing though that I really wasn’t expecting when I arrived. The visitors that we receive are entirely different to the ones at London! For instance, we don’t get as many Japanese tourists taking photos and making complete fools of us by coming right up to the edge of the cage! The people are a lot more civilised and tend to be British tourists rather than foreigners and don’t try to communicate with us by pointing and waving. That really annoyed me whilst I was at London. Although you were a really good keeper, I did not really like Paul or Mark who I believe preferred the others. But at Whipsnade, all the keepers treat everyone equally. Of course, each one has their favourite, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t like the others. I appreciate the way in which we are all cared for and respected as individuals – it’s more like we are humans than animals and I love the new lifestyle!

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Our daily routine is fairly similar to that at London although there are a few extra luxuries. For example, instead of having to eat our dinner at 5.30pm we can eat it whenever we like because when we’re hungry we just need to pay a visit to the dining enclosure! Yes, they have a separate dining enclosure!

Another good thing is that our normal living enclosure is so much bigger than the one I had at London. I hated it because it used to be so small, but the area at Whipsnade is more than double. I have the freedom to walk around and even run occasionally which I never got to do in London. It shows just how unfit I am!

The keepers are also very good at telling if we are upset or bored and make sure that we have some games to keep us occupied. They always have soft balls and inflatable toys which we can pick up and blow across the enclosure if we want. It’s so much fun! An added benefit about being in the country is that the air is a great deal cleaner and I no longer have to breathe in the polluted fumes from the thousands of commuters passing by each day. I believe that I am on the road to a healthy and exciting life.

My new friends are always there for me and we often have intellectually stimulating conversations together. I wish that when I was at London there would have been some other elephants that could have talked to me in a similar way.

I hope that now I have left it is easier for you to concentrate your efforts on some of the other animals and that you aren’t missing me too much. I’m sure you aren’t! You must come and visit me sometime and I’ll show you how much better it is – maybe you could even transfer here!


I'm Niki!

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