Herd of elephants to be re-wilded in 'world first'

The elephants will travel from Kent to the wild in Kenya in a project run by animal charity, The Aspinall Foundation, where Carrie Johnson is a director.


The Aspinall Foundation, where Carrie Johnson is a director, is set to embark on what is believed to be a world first by reintroducing a herd of elephants from Kent to the wild in Kenya.

Mrs Johnson, wife of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is head of communications for animal conservation group the Aspinall Foundation.

Writing in The Sun, Mrs Johnson, together with the charity’s chairman Damian Aspinall, said the “unprecedented and world first project” will see 13 elephants transported by plane from Howletts Wild Animal Park near Canterbury to a site in southern Kenya.

According to the pair, there are numerous benefits to the re-wilding attempt, including better mental health and longer life spans for the elephants.

The charity will also work with anti-poaching teams to help ensure the herd’s long-term survival once they touch down in Kenya.

Mrs Johnson and Mr Aspinall wrote: “This is the first time a breeding herd of elephants has ever been re-wilded.

“In time, their descendants will number in the hundreds — and then the thousands — and form part of the incomparable ecosystem that helps drive the Kenyan tourist economy.

“It will be a ground-breaking step for this country and for the conservation movement.

“We strongly believe this is the right future for them, and other wildlife organisations are increasingly sharing our view.”