Ilsur Metshin on transporting an elephant to Kazan: “It was like a whole military operation”
The elephant Philemon has settled in the new part of the Kazan Zoo “Africa.
The Zambezi River”. The day before, he was brought from the Moscow Zoo. The
Mayor of the capital of the republic of Tatarstan Ilsur Metshin met the new
The transportation was being prepared for eighteen months. It took a lot
of time for Kazan zoologists to get acquainted with the animal and create a
comfortable transport container for Philemon, weighing more than 2.5 tons and
2.25 m tall.
“We are gradually increasing the
number of animals. The Zoo was built in 2019, and this year it reached a record
half a million visits. The arrival of the elephant is a long–awaited event for
both zoo workers and children, their parents, so we hope that even more visitors
will come to see Philemon, the new inhabitant of the Kazan Zoo,”- Ilsur Metshin
The Mayor thanked the staff of the Kazan and Moscow zoos for their
“It was like a whole military operation to transport the elephant: a
60-ton crane and a traffic police were involved, we moved with stops so that
the elephant would not have stress. The process was prepared for eighteen
months,”- Ilsur Metshin said. He asked the zoo staff about the Philemon’s state
of health after the trip.
“He feels good. The trip was prepared for a long time by two teams from
Moscow and Kazan with regular meetings. Such a good fruitful work of the two
zoos has been completed,” said Mikhail Bragin, head of the Department of
Mammals at the Moscow Zoo.
Philemon was settled in a new part of the zoo “Africa. The Zambezi
River”, where last year a male plain gorilla Kvabena was brought from the
Moscow zoo. The new inhabitant will live in a large elephant enclosure, where
there are areas for games and swimming. In the winter room there is a sand cover
for a comfortable sleep. The area of the closed enclosure is about 1,430 sq.m.
Video surveillance is provided at the enclosure for security. Ilsur Metshin
examined the outdoor and indoor aviaries and asked what Plilemon eats. Mikhail
Bragin replied that the elephant loves fruits, carrots, fresh and juicy food.
In May 2023, Philemon marked his sixth birthday. At this age, young
males are already preparing for the beginning of independent life.
Subsequently, they leave the herd and go on a free journey. Adult elephants
The first visitors of the Kazan zoo had an opportunity to see Philemon
“Here is a new inhabitant, his moving was planned for eighteen months.
The teams of two zoos unloaded a 60-ton crane today, blocked the roads so that
you would be interested in our zoo. Come again,”-the Mayor addressed them.
Kazan Zoo is one of the oldest in Europe. It was established in 1931 after
the merger of the botanical and zoological gardens. Today, there are about four
thousand specimens of plants and animals of 120 species here. About 160
employees and keepers work at the Zoo.
The total area of the Kazan zoo is 14 hectares, half of them is occupied
by the old zoo, the other half is the new space “Africa. The Zambezi River”.