Once a lonely elephant at Auckland Zoo, 32-year old Burma has met her new companion for the first time, 8 year old Anjalee, with the pair appearing to settle in well with each other and pleasing the crowds who flock to the zoo to see the elephants as well as the host of other wildlife.

Burma had been the only elephant living in the zoo since the passing of her old companion, Kashin, six years ago, until Anjalee arrived at the weekend. Anjalee originally came from a Sri Lankan elephant orphanage, and has been in quarantine on the Pacific island of Niue since March, where she has been successfully growing and putting on weight thanks to the abundance of tropical plants found on the island.

Together the pair have been sighted romping in the sun and communicating with each other – both good signs that the bonding process is going well. Head of life science Kevin Burley said that the early signs couldn’t be better, though they will still be watched closely as they continue to get to know each other, adding that the zoo is confident they have the trust of the animals.

Auckland Zoo is just one of the places you’ll have the opportunity to visit on a Freedom Day in Auckland as part of our fantastic New Zealand tours, offering you the chance to get up close and personal to some truly fascinating wildlife.

Image: 111 Emergency, available under Creative Commons