The elephant in the room

By, John Maslin

Heard of elephants? Johanna Lacy has, and there isn't much about them she doesn't know.

Not that this Aramoho caregiver has made a scientific study of the the giant mammals but she has a collection of about 150 miniatures simply because she loves them.

Among Ms Lacy's plethora of pachyderms are a couple of "specials".

One she bought at Auckland Zoo after a visit and the other belonged to her late mother.

Her elephant collection is relatively new in terms of collectible because she started that in earnest 10 years ago.

"I just love elephants. I'd love to get to India and ride on an elephant. It's on my bucket list, but I'd need some help from Lotto to do that," she said.

Ms Lacy has gathered her elephants from garage sales and bric-a-brac shops she visits while travelling around the North Island.

She hasn't targeted the South Island yet.

"The two I inherited from mum have special meaning, but as far as prettiness goes, the china elephant I bought at Auckland Zoo is a favourite," she said.

As well as the elephants, she has posters of tigers lining nearly every wall in her house.

But that poster passion is tailing off as she collects more family pictures, especially of grandchildren.

She started the tiger collection six years ago when she visited the Zion Wildlife Park in Whangarei and had the opportunity to feed some tiger cubs.

She was smitten by those kittens and hence the poster gallery.

While having an elephant as a pet is out of the question, Ms Lacy has got as close as she's going to get in terms of tigers.

She has a cat and a kitten.

Through the summer holidays the Chronicle will profile a number of local people with a passion for collecting. If you know someone who would be suitable to feature in this series, contact the newsdesk on 06 349 0728 or email

- Wanganui Chronicle

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