NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

Sam, the English elephant, beats Brexit deadline

The good people of Antwerp are heaving a sigh of relief.  Their gift to the good folk of England, a male elephant called Ming Jung, has arrived safe and sound at his destination despite all the Brexit worries.

 

Ming Jung is part of an exchange.  An English elephant called Sam has made it to Antwerp Zoo without any hassle too.  Officials at Antwerp Zoo are so relieved.  They had decided that the exchange had to be completed before the Brexit deadline “do or die” and the Brexit deadline they were aiming for was 31 October.  Little did the good folk of Antwerp realise that the European Union would throw a spanner in the Brexit works and delay the deadline to 31 January 2020 at the latest (tentatively).

 

The exchange had to be over by the start of Brexit because of the elephantine amount of red tape that will be required to organise exchanges like these after the UK has exited the EU. How the two animals will fare on the return journey is anybody’s guess!

 

Antwerp Zoo’s Ilse Segers: “We’re so relieved everything went smoothly.  Now the two elephants can be used in breeding programmes.”

 

Like many of his countrymen, Sam, the English elephant found his feet in Antwerp in no time.  Ilse Segers: “There’s been some trunk contact with another pubescent male elephant in Antwerp.  It’s a good thing they are not afraid of each other and can be trained as breeding bull elephants.”