People at Blackpool Zoo celebrated all things pachyderm in honour of World Elephant Day.
Kate, the 49-year-old Asian elephant who has been at Blackpool Zoo since 1972, and her two new companions, Tara and Minbu, were the guests of honour at ‘Elefest’ on Saturday.
Elephant lovers from across the Fylde coast gathered at Blackpool Zoo for an evening of Project Elephant base camp tours, safari treks, live music, Asian food, and talks from the zoo’s animal experts.
Rebecca Reynolds, head of education, conservation and research at Blackpool Zoo, said: “We were overwhelmed by the number of people who turned up, and we had close to 3,000 for the evening.
“We had a henna tattoo station, a Prosecco bar, and an artist painting the elephants.”
The festival raised around £7,000, with a further £1,000 being raised by an online art auction, run by the Zoo.
Cash will be donated to the Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust, which supports the protection of elephants in Sri Lanka by raising awareness in schools in rural areas where human-elephant conflicts exist.
Ms Reynolds said: “We have Asian elephants here in captivity to admire and learn about, but in the wild they are struggling.
“We’re not just looking at the plight of elephants, but planning for the future, allowing humans and elephants to live in harmony.
“It’s about our elephants in Blackpool Zoo, but it’s also about protecting elephants in the wild.”