HM The Queen feeds Asian elephant Donna a banana
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s brand new Centre for Elephant Care was given the royal seal of approval today (Tuesday 11 April) as HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, officially unveiled the elephants’ £2m home.
Set amidst 30 acres of rolling paddocks, the custom-designed Centre for Elephant Care is the new home for the Zoo’s herd of nine Asian elephants.
Highlighting ZSL Whipsnade Zoo’s elephant-expertise, the Centre provides more than 700m² of indoor space, and is fitted out with a host of elephant-friendly features, including one metre-deep soft sand flooring to provide maximum comfort and dimming lights to mimic night-time.
Interactive displays will allow zoo visitors to try their hand at a jumbo pedicure, as they practise on a life-size model elephant foot, highlighting just some of the extraordinary one-on-one care given to the animals at Whipsnade.
The latest addition to the herd is ten-month-old calf Elizabeth, who was named by zookeepers in honour of Her Majesty, as she was born the day before The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2016.
The Queen, who is Patron of international conservation charity ZSL, which runs ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, enjoyed a private tour of the Centre where they met Assistant Curator of Elephants, Lee Sambrook and watched the elephants receive a pedicure.
HM The Queen, accompanied by The Duke– former president of ZSL – then unveiled a commemorative plaque commemorating the event, during a special ceremony where Her Majesty and His Royal Highness each fed Donna the elephant a banana.
Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and due to habitat loss, human conflict and poaching their wild populations are in decline. The species are also listed on ZSL’s EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) list, meaning there is a particularly urgent need for conservation action. ZSL is working in Thailand – a major stronghold for Asian elephants – to reduce human-wildlife conflict and ensure the peaceful coexistence of elephants and humans.
Visitors to ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will be able to view the herd in their new home when the Centre for Elephant Care opens to the public on Wednesday 12 April, 2017.
To mark the 91st birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Australia Post is releasing two commemorative stamps.
Australia Post Philatelic Manager, Michael Zsolt said: “Australia Post has issued Queen’s Birthday stamps since 1980, and they remain an important and popular tradition with collectors and followers of royal events”
Born on 21 April 1926 and christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, The Queen is the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York – who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
The Monarch’s birthday is celebrated officially every year in June, with the exception of Queensland and Western Australia where it occurs in late September or early October. To honour the Queen’s birthday in Australia an annual ceremony is held at the Royal Military College at Duntroon in the Australian Capital Territory.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and His Royal Highness Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, which occurred on 20 November 1947 at Westminster Abbey, London.
The $1 stamp features a photograph of Her Majesty during a visit to the Broadway Theatre, situated in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham. The visit was part of a day of public engagements with Prince Philip.
The international rate ($2.95) double-definitive sized stamp depicts Her Majesty and Prince Philip in acknowledgement of their lasting relationship. The couple are travelling in the Royal Procession as part of the prestigious Royal Ascot horseracing event.
Her Majesty celebrated her sapphire jubilee on 6 February 2017, which recognised 65 years on the British throne. The Queen is the first British monarch to achieve this anniversary. Australia Post is releasing a prestige postal numismatic cover to mark this significant event.
The designer of the stamps is Simone Sakinofsky of the Australia Post Design Studio.
The products associated with this stamp issue include a minisheet, first day cover, stamp pack, booklet of 10 x $1 self-adhesive stamps, sheetlet of five $2.95 self-adhesive stamps and a set of two maxicards.
The Queen’s Birthday stamps and associated products are available from 4 April 2017 at participating Post Offices, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps while stocks last. The Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee prestige postal numismatic cover is available only via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at auspost.com.au/stamps and limited to one per customer while stocks last.
Visit the Australia Post Collectables website auspostcollectables.com.au and keep up-to-date with new Australian stamp issues. The Australia Post Collectables website is a central resource for stamp collectors and philatelic enthusiasts across the globe.