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#1 Mystery woman looked after elephant in back yard03-23-2009, 04:17 PM
The baby elephant, Sheila, was moved out of the zoo because of fears it could be killed or freed to wreak havoc by bombers during the 'Belfast Blitz' of 1941.
She was one of the lucky ones at the zoo, which is built on the hills in the north of the city.
Many animals were killed because of public safety fears of an escape during the bombing.
The Ministry of Public Security ordered 23 zoo animals to be killed in case they got free and attacked people - they included a tiger, a black bear, a lynx, a hyena, two polar bears and six wolves.
Instead of meeting the same fate, Sheila was walked down the road by keepers to a red-brick house on the Whitewell Road where a woman gave her sanctuary in her back yard for several months until the bombing was over.
The woman has never been identified and the zoo knows her only as "the elephant angel". ...
SLW needs to check her family tree, just in case this woman's a relative.
03-27-2009, 02:35 PM
Mystery solved...The so-called 'elephant angel' was Denise Austin, who used to walk Sheila about the streets of north Belfast calling into shops where the calf was treated to portions of stale bread.
Denise died in 1997 but the long-running puzzle was solved by one of her surviving relatives, second cousin David Ramsey.
"Denise was eccentric and lived in a rather exotic home in North Belfast called Loughview House," he said.
The Belfast man explained that Sheila stayed in her enclosure at the zoo during the day and went home to Denise's house at night.
"When the head keeper Dick Foster left work, Denise took Sheila from her enclosure, walked her a short distance to her house at 278 Whitewell Road, and walked her back up to the zoo in the morning, sometimes stopping at a shop, the Thrones Stores, on the Whitewell road for stale bread.
"It was also known in the area that she took Sheila for evening walks. During the night Sheila slept in the Austins' garage." ...
03-27-2009, 03:58 PM
I would appreciate if you all would refrain from drawing anymore attention to poor Hillary's mother.:eek:I feel that once a black fella has referred to white foks as "honky paleface devil white-trash cracker redneck Caspers," he's abdicated the right to get upset about the "N" word. But that's just me. -- Jim Goad
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