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wildlife park

To become a Zoo director, zoo operator, zoo keeper and zoo veterinarian all at the same time is not for the faint hearted and even less so for someone who is very uncomfortable about keeping animals in captivity.

But for Dr Helen Schofield, it became a reality five years ago when she purchased what was then the Mark Vette Rescue Zoo in Whangarata, south of Auckland.

This is Helen's story of the ups and downs of resurrecting a zoo with tired enclosures, old animals and out of date practices and her determination to provide a sanctuary for many animals that have been put to work for most of their lives, including a recently retired circus elephant.

Spectrum's Lisa Thompson spends a morning with Helen at the Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary and meets the characters that populate her life on a daily basis.

wildlife park