Join our zoo community

New Zealand's former circus elephant, Mila, thriving in her new home.

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by ZooGirl101, 25 Sep 2014.

  1. ZooGirl101

    ZooGirl101 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 May 2011
    Posts:
    50
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Mila's Story
    I am just posting this to update you all on Mila (formerly known as Jumbo), an African elephant who spent over 30 years in New Zealand's circus. Every New Zealander, or even overseas, has heard about Mila. She was rescued by the Franklin Zoo (near Auckland) in November 2009 and then was involved in a tragic accident where she killed her keeper in April 2012.

    Since arriving at Franklin Zoo a few years back, it was Dr Helen Schofield who cared for her and dreamed of one day sending her to a new home to live with other elephants. Mila hadn't seen another elephant in over 30 years. On Anzac day 2012 Mila accidentally killed Dr Schofield in an incident that the whole country was shocked about. I was a good friend of Helen's and even worked with her (and Mila) so I too was in great shock.

    But Helen's family and friends and the community wanted to to fullfill Helen's dream and get her to a new home with other elephants. After 1 1/2 years of hard work and dedication, Mila was finally transferred to the San Diego Zoo in California in November 2013, about 4 years since she was rescued from the circus.

    How is Mila doing now?
    Well she is doing fantastic! Despite not seeing an elephant in over 30 years, she immediately bonded well with Mary, an Asian elephant who is also the matriarch of the herd. Over time she was also integrated with the zoos other females: African elephants Tembo & Shaba and Asian elephants: Devi and Sumithy. Mila now lives in a herd of 6 female elephants in one of the most advanced elephant care facilities in the world.

    After such a sad story, there is definitely a happy ending. Mila is where she is meant to be, with other elephants. Coping amazingly. Helen would be thrilled to see her like this, it was what she had always dreamed for her.

    While everyday I am still mourning the loss of my dear friend, I know that her girl is in great hands and will live out the rest of her days the way an elephant should.


    San Diego Zoo recently released this great video about her move and how she settled. There is also some amazing footage of Mila meeting and bonding with the other elephants. MILA
     
  2. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    1,250
    Location:
    League City, Texas
    That's nice. I like it when zoos take in animals from bad situations.
     
  3. Deer Forest

    Deer Forest Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Sep 2014
    Posts:
    137
    Location:
    China
    Gratifying!

    I wonder if one day the six female can meet a male, and is it possible for some of them to have a baby?
     
  4. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,144
    Location:
    Germany
    All female elephants at the San Diego Zoo are way too old to breed. Female elephants need to have their first calf around (or better before) the age of 20. If that doesn`t happen, most become infertile, and if a female does get pregnant, the risk for life-threatening complications is very high. Long breaks between pregnancies also cause infertility.
     
  5. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2014
    Posts:
    1,332
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I'm so glad the San Diego Zoo took her, and that she didn't end up in the hands of anyone unscrupulous. May she have many happy years there.
     
  6. joe99

    joe99 Active Member

    Joined:
    29 Jun 2014
    Posts:
    27
    Location:
    new zealand
    I knew Mila well. I saw her in the circus, saw her at Franklin zoo. when the kepper, a friend of mine got killed by her me and my mother where driving past the zoo going home from holiday. im glad she is a good home