The cost of bringing Auckland Zoo's new elephant, Anjalee, to New Zealand in June included $600,000 to build a quarantine facility in Niue.
Documents released by the council under the Official Information Act, show of the $3.2 million cost to acquire two new elephants, $600,811 was used to pay for the facility.
The 1.7-tonne female Asian elephant was brought from Sri Lanka to New Zealand, via Niue for a three-month quarantine, to keep the zoo's 32-year-old female elephant Burma company.
Burma has been lonely since her friend Kashin died in 2009 and the idea is for her to take on the role of matriarch to 8-year-old Anjalee.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The council approved funds of $3.2 million in May 11 to cover all the costs around the acquisition of two elephants.
The quarantine facility will be used for the second elephant.
The $3.2 million cost included $2.2 million for transporting the two elephants, the quarantine costs and $320,000 to upgrade the elephant facilities at the zoo.
The $3.2 million cost is expected to be recovered from additional zoo revenue and reduced operational costs, according to the documents.