YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Sri Lanka will give a baby elephant to the Armenia zoo in exchange for veterinary training and animals "suitable" to the Sri Lankan climate.
Asokamala, the nine-year old female elephant from the Sri Lanka’s elephant orphanage at the central village of Pinnawela will be sent to Armenia along with two mahouts and a veterinary surgeon, Sri Lankan Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge said.
"The Armenian government has made several requests for another elephant to keep company the only elephant they have, which was given as a gift by Sri Lanka many years ago," Lokuge said.
"We are not only exchanging animals with Armenia but getting professional help for our vets. Armenia has also allowed us to select animals suited for our climate," the minister said.
The elephant exchange may take place this month, Lokuge said.
He said the swap was approved by Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers making an exception to government policy of not giving away elephants born at the country’s only elephant orphanage which has a successful breeding program.