November 5, 2012

Retired circus elephants find new home in Maine

The Associated Press

HOPE — Two retired circus elephants have arrived in Maine to live out the rest of their years at a new facility built especially for them.

Rosie and Opal arrived a few days ago in the town of Hope, near Camden, where they are living at a newly built facility with a 3,000-square-foot elephant barn and an acre of land developed by veterinarian Jim Laurita.

Laurita told the Bangor Daily News that he worked as a circus elephant trainer in the 1970s and co-founded the Hope Elephants nonprofit organization so he could treat 43-year-old Rosie and 41-year-old Opal's arthritis. The animals came to Maine from an elephant retirement facility in Oklahoma.

Hope Elephants also plans to have school groups visit to learn firsthand about the animals.

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