Saturday, March 28, 2009

The elephant in the back yard

This amazing story appeared in The Independent yesterday. My CoS is still chortling over it and wondering if anybody has yet optioned it for a film. There might be issues about getting heffalumps that can act, surely? ...oh...CoS says they are very intelligent, "more trainable than cats". I am not sure how to take this. Anyway, here we go: Mystery Solved Of Elephant In Belfast Back Yard.

A mystery Belfast woman who cared for a baby elephant in her back garden during the war years has finally been identified.

The ‘elephant angel’ was Denise Weston Austin, who was one of the first female zoo keepers in Belfast Zoo.

Along with her mother Irene, Denise took baby elephant Sheila in to her north Belfast home after it escaped an order to euthanize some of the more dangerous animals at the zoo.

Nine lions, two tigers and a number of bears and wolves were killed on the orders of the Ministry of Public Security because of fears that they would escape and threaten the public if the zoo was damaged in a German bombing raid.

Earlier this week the zoo - which is celebrating its 75th anniversary - launched a campaign to find the mystery owner and, through a surviving relative, have found more information on her identity...

Read the rest here.