To Top

The Queen and Prince Philip feed bananas to elephants at London Zoo

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh met the elephants at London Zoo this morning as Her Majesty officially opened the new elephant centre.

Donna, a seven-year-old Asian elephant seemed most grateful when the 90-year-old monarch hand fed her a ripe banana.

Showing no hesitation, The Queen gave Donna a banana just as she would give a carrot to one of her beloved horses.

Another elephant at the enclosure who Her Majesty and Prince Philip met was 10-month-old Elizabeth – named in honour of the monarch herself.

The 72 stone elephant was born a day before Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday celebrations so the zoo saw it fitting for the baby to be named in her honour.

Both Donna and Elizabeth live in the Centre for Elephant Care, a new custom-designed enclosure which The Queen officially opened during her visit.

The barn is located on 20 acres of paddocks for the herd of elephants.

Professor David Field, director of the Zoological Society of London, said that Her Majesty was “absolutely delighted” to discover Elizabeth the elephant was named in her honour.

The Queen watched keepers clean the feet of the creatures and how to inspect their teeth. She was said to be particularly interested in this and compared it to keeping horses.

The centre will open to the public on Wednesday – which is the day after Her Majesty opened the centre.

This is not the first time The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have visited London Zoo.

Just last year they opened the new Land of the Lions exhibit.

The Queen and Prince Philip were one of the first to view the lions in their new enclosure. They also took the time to meet the exhibit delivery team, zoo keepers and members of a conservation group.

As she opened the enclosure, The Queen unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion.

More in Her Majesty The Queen