Jumbo-sized new citizen for Franklin

Published: Wed 16 Dec 2009 05:26 PM
Media Release
16 December 2009
Jumbo-sized new citizen for Franklin
Franklin District Council has officially welcomed a jumbo-sized citizen to the district.
Jumbo the elephant was ‘sworn in’ as a Franklin citizen by Franklin District Mayor Mark Ball at a special citizenship ceremony today at her new home at Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Jumbo (also known as Mila) has recently been gifted to Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary on her retirement from the circus. The sanctuary provides a home and rehabilitation for at-risk exotic and native species.
Franklin District Mayor Mark Ball says, “For a rural area used to livestock and horses, it’s certainly a great honour to have the only African elephant in New Zealand make her home in our beautiful district. Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary is taking on a huge commitment and undertaking a magnificent service by offering Jumbo a home. It’s fantastic she can live in such a caring and beautiful environment. Who wouldn’t want to retire in the green and peaceful rolling countryside of Whangarata?”
An African bush elephant born in the wild in 1974, Jumbo has spent time with London and Honolulu Zoos and two circus companies before her move to Franklin.
Sanctuary director Dr Helen Schofield says, “Jumbo is making great progress in settling into her own enclosure. It is much larger than she is used to and we’re keeping her stimulated with new experiences and play. She has become a real hit with the local community and with zoo visitors. We’ve had many visitors since her arrival as people flock to see her in her new home. She appears to be loving the extra space of her own large enclosure and the rural surrounds.”
Jumbo is sharing her new home with many other species of animals, including lions, monkeys, bobcats, lemurs, zebra and more. Many of the animals are aged or have special needs. If you would like to assist the zoo with their work, please donate to the Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust on site, or visit
Come and see Jumbo in her new home at Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary, located at 83 Ridge Road, Whangarata, from 9am – 5pm seven days a week. Entry is $6 for 3-17 year olds; $12 per adult; under 3’s FREE. Family Passes $28 for two adults and two children.

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