MAKENA, the first elephant born in the Valencian Community, celebrated her first birthday at BIOPARC Valencia on Thursday, as hundreds of schoolchildren sang to her at a special party.
A huge cake with a difference was baked along with special decorations for the elephant enclosure at the wildlife park.
A large mound of sand with several layers formed the cake containing favourite elephant treats like watermelon, melon, pineapple, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, and pumpkins.
That was in addition to gift boxes filled with food, branches, forage and various elements to motivate Makena’s instincts.
The park described the day as ‘exciting’ as the early morning of November 9, 2022 – when she was born – after a long wait following 22 months of gestation.
BIOPARC has used Thursday’s celebration to remind people that the extinction threat to the African elephant is ‘increasingly worrying’.
In just over a century more than 95% of the population has disappeared, which has led the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to classify the forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) as ‘critically endangered’.
Part of BIOPARC’s work is aimed at the ‘active conservation’ of the most threatened species, both with ‘on site’ conservation projects as well participating in international controlled reproduction programmes.
Equally important is to ‘engage and mobilise’ society to ‘reconnect’ with nature and awaken empathy towards wildlife, the park says, which is why occasions like Makena’s first birthday is important to highlight the problems around the world.