5 Jun 2012

Elephant may be put down if $1.5m not found

8:27 pm on 5 June 2012

A former circus elephant that killed her trainer may be put down unless almost $1.5 million is raised by the end of this week.

Helen Schofield died after being crushed by Mila at Franklin Zoo and Wildlife Sanctuary near the town of Tuakau, 56km south of Auckland, on 25 April this year.

Dr Schofield's sister and zoo employee, Jenny Chung, says the zoo needs $1,450,000 to pay for new carers and equipment to send the elephant to a sanctuary overseas.

She says no other facility in New Zealand has the resources to care for the elephant, and without the money there may be no choice but to put it down.

Ms Chung says it was her sister's dream to see Mila spend her life with other African elephants, have more space to roam and the opportunity to behave naturally.

She says about $20,000 has been raised so far and the zoo will accept donations up to 10 June.