Vaimoana Tapaleao is the New Zealand Herald's Pacific Affairs and People reporter.

A happy life after the big top

Photo / Greg Bowker
Photo / Greg Bowker

After 28 years in the rigours of the circus industry, Jumbo the elephant is enjoying her first Christmas as a pachyderm of leisure.

She moved to Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary at Tuakau three weeks ago, after finishing her career with a year-long stint at Weber Bros' Loritz Circus.

Sanctuary director and veterinarian Dr Helen Schofield said the 36-year-old settled very quickly into her new surroundings and was happy in her large enclosure.

"Jumbo is intelligent and fun loving, and gains more confidence in her surroundings and in her team of carers each day."

Jumbo was settling in so well that on her second day out in her enclosure she found the mud wallow, and had "a lovely time rolling around and covering herself in mud".

The Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary is open every day (including Christmas and New Years Day) from 9am to 5pm.

- NZ Herald

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