Saturday, 28 March 2009

Fresh Meat Gone To Waste


Sheila a baby elephant, was moved out of the Belfast zoo because of fears it could be killed or freed to wreak insane elephant havoc by Nazi bombers during the 'Belfast Blitz' of 1941.

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 , six wolves, four lemurs and an ardvark .

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. She'd feed it fish, peanuts and unwanted babies and she'd wash it in 3 inches of water which was shared by the whole street due to rationing.

The woman has never been identified and the zoo knows her only as "the elephant angel". Now as it celebrates its 75th birthday, zoo bosses have decided to finally identify the elephant angel.

It says it has many unusual stories from down the years, but is convinced that of the angel must be their most curious.
Zoo manager Mark Challis said: "The care provided by our mystery lady is unique to zoo history and we would like to make contact with her family and properly document this gap in our past."

The zoo has a couple of grainy black and white photographs of two women sitting on a garden seat watching Sheila drinking out of a tin bucket beside the back door of the house. In those days they had to make their own entertainment.

My own mother took many American and Polish servicemen under her wing during the war and her nickname was " soapy job Annie" which was odd as her name wasn't Annie and she wasn't employed by any soap company.

I don't believe there are any photos of those times. I was off fighting the Japs in Greenland but my siblings have told stories of numerous kindly uncles that appeared during those times when Da was out on air raid patrol.

If you read the history books you'll see that the Japs never got a hold of Greenland, no need to thank me.

Giving house board to an elephant may be frowned upon by today's animal welfare officers, but in wartime needs must even though I knew this guy who kept tigers in his back yard, funny but they were the only pets kept in that whole area.

Sheila went back to the zoo after the war and lived for another quarter of a century, dying of a skin complaint in 1966.

What a fucking wuss, I won't tell you how many skin complaints I have I just put up with it, mustn't crumble others have it worse, at the moment I'm suffering from the shingles, slates and the skittles and a wee personal itch caused by a 3way light bulb.

If you know of this elephant angel please inform the RSPCA or the Belfast zoo and also tell them if you know what the fuck happened to three giraffes, a cross eyed lion and a tasty looking bison.

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6 comments:

Just Another Faceless Commenter said...

That's not their backyard, that's their outdoor toilet. They only took in the elephant so that they could have the first bidet on their block.

tony said...

We Could Be Related!!!!!

CHEF TROLL said...

Interesting. Hope they find the "Elephant Angel's" kinfolk.

dai said...

I remember her but I always knew her as Nancy.

MJ said...

Off-topic but I am distracted by your Twatter update that says...

Did you know 84% of all men have tasted their own jizz and 63% of statistics are false? according 41% of people.

mago said...

Elephant Angel? Maybe related to the Angels of Mons ...