Elephants get into the swing of things with new hoses

Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service have donated two de-commissioned fire hoses this week as a novel present for the elephants at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo to play with. 

Set amidst 30 acres of rolling paddocks, the zoo’s nine Asian elephants, will make use of the hoses in a number of different ways, including using the hoses as feeding balls, which the elephants can have fun kicking along like footballs until all of the food comes out.

The hoses, all of which are decommissioned from training use, meaning they have not been contaminated by smoke, will then be used to provide the elephants with an enriched and engaging environment for them to explore.

Talking about the donation, Crew Commander, Gary McMahon from Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service said:

“It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to work in partnership with a zoo as a fire and rescue service, so when we got the call, we were more than happy to help. To see the hoses get a new lease of life in this way is great and we look forward to seeing the elephants having fun and making the most of their new toys.”

Stefan Groeneveld, Team Leader of Elephants at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo said: “We are always looking for new ways to stimulate our elephants and bring out their natural behaviours like foraging for food, and fire hoses, which are made of incredibly strong material, are perfect to make feeding balls from. The whole herd will be thrilled to investigate their new toys!” 

The elephants received their new toys this morning. The hoses were presented to the staff at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo by the crew from Rugby Fire Station. For more information on ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, visit: https://www.zsl.org/