80 Years of Elephants in Prague


28. 09. 2013

he first elephant came to Prague Zoo 80 years ago. It was the famous Baby. This important anniversary will be celebrated by both elephants and visitors at the weekend. On Sunday, the herd of elephants will enjoy a special cake and what is more a fund-raising elephant steam boat will make trips all day in the city centre.

On Sunday, elephants will get a treat in the form of a special water melon cake. Photo (c) Tomáš Adamec, Prague Zoo On Sunday, elephants will get a treat in the form of a special water melon cake. Photo (c) Tomáš Adamec, Prague Zoo

Elephants in Prague Zoo, including the little Sita, will celebrate the anniversary on Sunday 21st July at 1 p.m. A special water melon cake will be prepared for them in the largest pen in The Elephant Valley.
Fund-raising steam boat

The eighty-years of elephant breeding in Prague will also be celebrated on board of an elephant steam boat. The best boat of The Prague Steamboat Company's fleet will operate on Sunday from 10.15 a.m. to 7.15 p.m. from Kampa to Štvanice. The boat will be decorated in an elephant style, the main decoration being the ceremonial robe of the elephant Raja. The motif of this most famous Sri Lankan elephant also figures on the one thousand rupee banknote in Sri Lanka. It was in the same robe that Raja carried the most precious local relic – Buddha's tooth saved from the flames of funeral pyre during the Esala Perahera festivities between the years 1950 and 1987. The ticket for one boat trip costs 100 CZK. All the proceeds will go to Prague Zoo flood account.

"The elephant called Baby came to Prague Zoo in July 1933. Those who met him while in the zoo remembered him for a long time, sometimes even up to now. He entered the history of Prague Zoo and became one of its icons," says the Director of Prague Zoo Miroslav Bobek.

Meeting the present time elephant herd, the biggest ever in Prague, brings similar a experience as Baby did several decades ago. Baby came from Ceylon (today's Sri Lanka). Prague Zoo later received two more elephants from the same place, when at the beginning of the 1970's the House of Big Mammals was opened. These were Sundari and Kadíra. Prague Zoo received them as a gift by the Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaik. So far the last elephants from Sri Lanka – Tamara and Janita – were again given to Prague Zoo by the Sri Lankan government last autumn.