Sheila, Denise and the Belfast Blitz.

NIRELAND-BRITAIN-HISTORY-ANIMALS

Belfast was heavily bombed by the Nazis in April and May of 1941, with some 900 people dying.

There were fears of animals at the zoo escaping and stampeding, so orders were given to shoot some of them.

A woman named Denise Weston Austin, one of the zoo’s first female zookeepers, decided to save a baby elephant named Sheila.

Baby elephant, Sheila, who was moved out of Belfast zoo because of fears of a hit from bombers during the Belfast Blitz of 1941.ele2

Because she had high walls around the back of her house, she knew she could hide the animal at night.

Every night after the zoo closed, she sneaked the elephant home on foot, and then returned her in the morning.

Belfast Blitz Sheila the Elepahnt Denise

Sheila survived the war, but died in 1966.

Austin died in 1997, but the identity of the “Elephant Angel” was not discovered until 2009, when a public appeal was launched to find her.

Picture sources:

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/story-of-how-belfast-zoos-baby-elephant-was-kept-in-backyard-of-home-during-second-world-war-blitz-to-be-made-into-film-29723722.html

http://www.ww2incolor.com/homefront/elephant_1371301c.html

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s