$1.4m to save Franklin elephant
Wed, 06 Jun 2012 3:30p.m.
The sister of a Franklin zoo keeper crushed to death by an elephant is helping to raise $1.4 million to save the animal's life.
Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary operator Dr Helen Schofield, 42, was killed by three-tonne Mila when she tried to comfort the ex-circus elephant on April 25.
Dr Schofield had just finished preparing Mila to adapt to living in an overseas sanctuary and was about to start raising funds for the transfer when she died.
Now her sister Jenny Chung, who is a trustee and administrator for the zoo, is continuing her sister's dream.
"We're not going to give up," she told NZ Newswire.
"Helen wouldn't have wanted us to give up and her dream for Mila was to see her with other elephants."
But without Dr Schofield the cost of carrying this out has sky rocketed to $1.4m. Costs include hiring a new zoo operator, a number of other staff and transfer costs.
Dr Schofield volunteered most of her time at the zoo where she worked for six and a half years, Ms Chung said.
"She did it for love," she said.
"She has always been that selfless person. She took joy in caring for Mila and she found it a privilege."
The Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust needed $800,000 by Monday to avoid putting Mila down, Ms Chung said.
However, in just four days $20,000 has been raised and as more funds come in this date could be pushed back.
Mila's new home will be chosen once a new zoo operator is hired. The move is planned for June next year.
No other zoo in New Zealand had the facilities to host Mila and the Franklin zoo had few funds left to continue looking after her, Ms Chung said.
The zoo, which has over 420 animals, closed after Dr Schofield's death. Funds raised for Mila will also contribute to reopening the zoo.
Mila and the other animals are being cared for by a team of zoo keepers including staff from zoos in Auckland and Hamilton.
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20/06/2012 12:23:28 p.m.
18/06/2012 9:24:22 a.m.
It is definitely too quite in the media about Mila's fate. Far too much time is spent reporting on every pity crime and talking ONLY about bad news. People please wake up, you are being manipulated.
14/06/2012 12:56:55 p.m.
should like to see more media reports on raising countrywide fundraising for mila's future
10/06/2012 9:19:23 a.m.
my school fundrased $110:10c for mila
7/06/2012 9:11:43 a.m.
New Zealanders owe it to Mila to save her from destruction. We put her in this position through ill treatment in a circus. Are there any street appeals for her? I would be only too happy to collect on her behalf. I have already given personally.If everyone gave as much or as little as you can she could be saved and live the rest of her life free from human abuse. Please donate.
7/06/2012 9:09:11 a.m.
Anne Batley Zburton wrote:
Surely the deadline can be extended to allow sufficient time to raise funds to save Mila? If she is killed then Dr Schofield's dreams and devotion to Mila plus her death will have been in vain. Please hold off .
7/06/2012 7:12:54 a.m.
New Zealanders owe it to Mila to save her from destruction. We put her in this position through ill treatment in a circus. Are there any street appeals for her? I would be only too happy to collect on her behalf. I have already given personally.
6/06/2012 9:44:08 p.m.
why does it new zealanders ask the kim dotcoms of the world to help this elephant he has so much money to splash around 1.4 million would be pocket money to him
6/06/2012 4:13:33 p.m.
this elephant needs to be saved. For funds maybe apply to lotto or the gambling revenue people. I would rather my taxes be spent on this elephant than some humans.
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