Happy 50th birthday for Tina the Elephant

Tina arrived at Belfast Zoo in 1966
Tina arrived at Belfast Zoo in 1966

Belfast Zoo was trumpeting a special day today for one of its inhabitants – Tina the Elephant, who has turned 50 years old.

The Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon was at the zoo as Tina got some birthday treats, which included a pedicure for her and fellow elephants.

Tina arrived at Belfast Zoo in 1966 from Birmingham – when the cost of shipping her was just £20.

When she first arrived she measured only one metre in height (just over one foot) and weighed about 150 kg (just under 24 stone).

She used to go for a daily walk with her keepers until she became too large.

She became known for stealing and eating visitors’ items, including handbags, school bags and cameras.

She lives with Yhetto and Dhunja, as part of the Zoo’s sanctuary for elderly non-breeding female elephants.

There are some 50th birthday festivities this Saturday, July 5. For more, visit www.belfastzoo.co.uk .