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Date: 18/06/2018

Keepers at West Midland Safari Park have provided some World Cup-themed enrichment for the youngest elephant in their care.

Sutton, who recently celebrated his fourth birthday, seemed to relish the opportunity at playing with a giant football ahead of England’s first game in the four-week-long tournament.
The youngster was a natural when it came to kicking the ball, using his trunk and front feet to dribble it around his enclosure, much to the amusement of mum Five, aunt Latabe and his dedicated keepers. Sutton showed off his great ball skills and even managed to flick the ball over his head!
Head Elephant Keeper, Andy Plumb, said: “We love giving Sutton new things to play with and he seemed like a natural with his new football. Anything colourful and easy to pick up really fascinates young elephants and it was great to see him sweeping the ball around with his trunk!”
He continued: “I’ve been working with elephants for many years now and have built up a really strong bond with Latabe, Five and young Sutton. It’s lovely to see how close they’ve become as a family and how his mum and aunt keep an eye on his playful antics. He definitely has some ball skills to rival the England squad!”
Sutton was the first elephant to be born at the Park and was the first elephant born in the UK using frozen semen from a wild bull. His mum Five and aunt Latabe arrived at the Park 20 years ago and have carefully watched over the cheeky youngster since his birth on 5 May 2014. 
During the summer, West Midland Safari Park will be hosting a fundraising week dedicated to elephant conservation. Funds raised during the week will be donated to the Mali Elephant Project, who work to protect a unique population of African elephants from poaching and habitat damage. For further information, visit:
The elephants can be seen in the four-mile Safari Drive-through, which is included in the standard admission charge of £24.00 for adults, £19.00 for children aged 3-15 and £22.00 for concessions. Children under the age of three years are admitted free of charge. Admission includes a Free Return Ticket. Adventure Theme Park rides are charged extra.
Further information and discounted tickets are available from the Park’s website or by telephone 01299 402114. You can find out more on the Safari Park’s official Facebook page: