The Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust would like to thank our local community, friends and supporters, and staff from Franklin, Auckland and Hamilton zoos for their support following the death of Dr Helen Schofield – the heart and soul of Franklin Zoo.
It has been a very difficult few months as we have come to terms with this tragedy, and tried to perform Helen’s multiple roles as accredited vet, zoo operator and director, and elephant programme manager. However, Helen is irreplaceable and this is why the Trustees have now had to make the incredibly difficult decision to close Franklin Zoo.
Franklin Zoo’s dedicated staff are all deeply saddened by this decision, but understand that Mila and all of our animals deserve to live lives that are as full and enriching as possible. We are grateful that they will continue to work with us, to achieve this.
Helen dedicated her life to animals, and her greatest dream was for Mila to be moved to another facility where she could live out the rest of her days with other elephants.
We will not give up on Helen’s dream, and we believe that the best way to honour this is to focus resources into our goal of working towards Mila’s relocation to a facility overseas so that we can try to secure her future.
Over the coming weeks we will work closely with the Australasian Zoo & Aquarium Association and the Ministry for Primary Industries to find homes for the animals in our collection, and secure their future.
Auckland and Hamilton zoo staff will continue to assist us in the day-to-day care of Mila, and preparing Mila for her relocation overseas.
We would like to thank everyone who has donated to our fundraising efforts to cover the day to day care of all the animals at Franklin Zoo and towards our goal of relocating Mila to a facility overseas. We’ve been really pleased with the fund raising so far and are extremely grateful to everybody who has donated. We are a long way ahead but still have some way to go to secure Mila’s future.
The ongoing fundraising remains our top priority, so if you would like to donate to the Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust, please visit our website www.franklinzoo.co.nz
• or you can donate by direct credit to The Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust, National Bank of NZ, account number 060401 0327303 00
• or post a cheque to Franklin Zoo Charitable Trust, 83 Ridge Road RD4, Tuakau, Auckland 2694.