The Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust is the only organisation to fund the care and rehabilitation of Mila. The Trust continues to care for her daily and are fund raising to send her to a suitable facility in the USA to live out her life with other African elephants. Thanks to the generous donations from individuals, we are able to continue to care for her and have been able to fund the recruitment of an elephant project manager with many years experience in training elephants under protective contact management using positive reinforcement training. This new elephant project manager has been working with Mila since late October 2012. She is training Mila for her medical testing and crate training and we hope to move Mila in late 2013 to the US to her new home.
All donations to this project are gratefully received by the Trust and can be made on this web site or by:
DIRECT CREDIT: Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust, National Bank of NZ, Papakura Branch 06-0401-0327303-00
BY POST: Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust, 83 Ridge Road RD 4, Tuakau, Auckland 2694 (Please reference your name and phone number so that we can contact you to provide you with a Trust receipt)
Meet Mila, an ex circus African elephant. Mila started her retirement with us in order to learn independence and free choice thinking and to just be an elephant again and her rehabilitation is progressing well. She is 40 years old and is in great health. Check out her trunk, an elephant’s trunk is actually a long nose and a lip fused, it’s used for smelling, breathing, trumpeting, drinking, and also for grabbing things—especially a potential meal. The trunk alone contains about 100,000 different sub unit muscles. African elephants have two fingerlike features on the end of their trunk that they can use to grab small items. (Asian elephants have one.) Elephants eat roots, grasses, leaves, fruit, and bark, and they eat a lot of these things. An adult elephant can consume up to 300 pounds (136 kilograms) of food in a single day.
These hungry animals do not sleep much, and they roam over great distances while foraging for the large quantities of food that they require to sustain their massive bodies. This is why the program we have designed for Jumbo involves 24 hour care with activities all day and night. An elephant can sleep as little as two hours every day so we need to keep her occupied.