THE UK's largest elephant habitat is celebrating its 10 year anniversary today (Tuesday, February 20).

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm's Elephant Eden was officially opened by HRH Princess Anne in 2014.

The 20 acre facility features a wide range of state-of-the-art enrichment opportunities, such as a pool, a large heated indoor barn with sand yards and water sprinklers, expansive fields and a large willow plantation.

Currently, the facility, which provides support for the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), is home to three African elephants, called Shaka, Janu, and Sutton.

Tom Lindley, elephant section leader at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, said: “Over the past decade, Elephant Eden has developed to become a vital habitat for elephants.

"Our focus on creating a place which mirrors their natural environment has been instrumental in promoting the welfare of our elephant group.

"We are proud to operate as a multi-generational bachelor group, centred around one dominant male and younger bulls."

Chris Wilkinson, curator at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, added: “Elephants are brilliant animals and housing them in modern collections allows us to conserve the species whilst educating the public and advancing the scientific knowledge of elephant biology, physiology, and behaviour.

"Elephant Eden is a 20-acre habitat that has been carefully designed with environmental features to maximise species-specific behaviours, to positively challenge the elephants and to help with their management. 

"By providing a naturalistic habitat and facilitating behavioural enrichment, we contribute to the well-being and conservation of these magnificent creatures.”

Larry Bush, director of the zoo farm, agreed: "This milestone is a testament to our dedication to providing the highest standards of care for our elephants and we’re delighted that during the past decade nearly 2 million visitors have had the opportunity to see elephants and to be inspired to support the care and conservation of these amazing animals.

"As we look to the future, Eden is an ongoing example of our commitment to be pioneering in our approach to animal welfare, education and conservation efforts."

Andrew Hall, Communications and Public Affairs manager at BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums), concluded: "The habitat is pioneering by design, as one of the few bachelor facilities for African elephants, and Noah’s Ark have a dedicated team of experts committed to the round the clock care of Shaka, Janu and Sutton.

"I cannot wait to see what the next 10 years have in store for this outstanding home for endangered African elephants.”