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Competition to Name The Elk – Wildlife Park’s newest and largest resident 9 December 2011

Female ElkThe Curraghs Wildlife Park has welcomed a new resident.

The 18 month old female European elk travelled from the Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland accompanied by a keeper who helped park staff settle her into her new surroundings.

Now the Wildlife Park is asking visitors to the park to suggest a name for her. Standing almost 1.8metres tall to the shoulder, the new resident can be seen in the European area of the 40 acre park in Ballaugh. Visitors can submit an entry to the Name The Elk Competition every time they visit the park up to the end of the Christmas holidays (Tuesday 3 January).

Juan Turner MLC, Member of the Department of Community, Culture and Leisure with delegated political responsibility for the Wildlife Park, commented:

‘New arrivals at the park are always welcome and this female elk, or moose to our American cousins, is an impressive sight. I am hopeful we'll get some great suggestions for an appropriate name for her during the Christmas holidays.'
‘The Wildlife Park is one of the Island's most popular visitor attractions and as the new political member I am keen to make sure that the Park provides a great visitor experience. I am looking forward to working with the team to revamp many of the Park's areas and attractions.'

Tina Jauncey, Duty Manager, said:

‘We are very pleased to welcome the elk. Her arrival was much delayed because of the extensive bad weather we have experienced over recent weeks. We know that she is not the first elk in Ballaugh because the remains of an Irish elk, sometimes called giant deer, were dug up in the early 19th century, only a mile from the Wildlife Park. However, this species was only distantly related to European elk and died out over 8,000 years ago.’
‘She is settling in well and will hopefully be joined in the summer by a male from Whipsnade Zoo.’

Entry to the Name The Elk Competition is free, limited to one entry per person per visit to the park from Saturday (10 December) to Tuesday 3 January. The person who suggests the name selected by Wildlife Park managers for the elk will win an animal experience of their choice.

Curraghs Wildlife Park is currently open winter hours, 10am to 4pm at weekends but will also open on weekdays during the Christmas holidays from 19 December. The Park is closed to the public on 24-26 December and 1 January.

Animal experiences can be purchased as Christmas presents prices ranging from £25 to £50. Please contact the park for further details, Tel. (01624) 897323. Follow Curraghs Wildlife Park on Facebook: www.facebook.com/curraghswildlifepark

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