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Film based on Belfast's Elephant Angel now shooting in city centre

By Ann W Schmidt

Filming for a new movie based on Belfast's Elephant Angel has begun - without the main star.

Zoo is based on the true story of a baby elephant named Sheila who was rescued from Belfast Zoo before German air raids during the Second World War.

Belfast zookeeper Denise Austin saved Sheila in 1941 and kept her in the backyard of her north Belfast home. She then became known as the Elephant Angel.

The film is being shot in and around the old Belfast Telegraph building, as well as the city zoo, the grounds of Belfast Castle and the docks beside HMS Caroline.

Shooting is expected to take five weeks, and at the moment, a cut-out elephant shape is standing in for Sheila, who will be added digitally when filming moves to Canada.

The cast comes from both sides of the border and includes Art Parkinson from Game of Thrones, Toby Jones from the Hunger Games and more. The £2.8m children's film is set to be released in March next year.

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