First elephant born in Turkey now an adult
A nine-year-old Asian elephant, called “İzmir,” which is the first elephant born in Turkey and became the symbol of the İzmir Wildlife Park, is now an adult weighing three tons.
The Wildlife Park, built on an area of 4,125 square meters in Sasalı in the western province of İzmir, hosts approximately 3,000 animals of 134 species brought from different parts of the world.
Park employees take care of the animals like their children, feel sad when one of them dies and also feel happy seeing their healthy growth.
Shocked by the death of the giraffe Zarife last week, the employees are trying to find solace in İzmir, one of the iconic animals of the park, as it is in adulthood now.
Born in February 2011 as the offspring of elephants named Begümcan and Winner, who also live in the park, İzmir has become one of the symbols of the park.
The nine-year-old elephant, which eats an average of 100 kilograms of alfalfa and 30 kilograms of vegetables and fruits every day, weighs three tons.
The director of the park, Şahin Afşin, told state-run Anadolu Agency that they host nearly one million visitors from around the world.
“The death of animals upset us as much as the happiness at their birth. We lost the giraffe Zarife, a 12-year-old resident of our wildlife park. We were very sad,” he said, stating that the animals they take care of have a very different place for them.
Afşin said that İzmir, which is the first Asian elephant born in Turkey, is also very important for them.
“İzmir was born weighing 110 kilograms. People show great interest in the place where the elephant family lives. Her sister Deniz was born in 2014. The lifespan of elephants in the wild is between 40-50 years and in natural parks 70-80 years. We have an emotional bond with him. When the caregivers call her, she comes to them with sympathetic gestures,” he added.