Belfast Telegraph

Tina the Asian elephant marks 50th birthday at Belfast Zoo

By Amanda Ferguson

It's a birthday she'll never forget.

Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon has helped Belfast Zoo's most famous resident – Tina the Asian elephant – celebrate her milestone 50th.

The first citizen made a special visit to the zoo to give Tina a special birthday breakfast, plus pedicure and moisturising session.

"It has been an absolute pleasure to spoil Tina on her birthday," Ms Mallon said. "She has a special place in the hearts and memories of many visitors and has grown up alongside the people of Belfast.

"Tina is the zoo's longest resident and I'm delighted to celebrate her role in the success and history of Belfast Zoo.

"She has captivated generations of visitors and I hope that she will continue to do so for years to come."

Tina arrived at Belfast Zoo in 1966, from Tyseley Pet Store in Birmingham, at a shipping cost of £20. She became notorious for stealing – and sometimes eating – visitors' items, including handbags, coats, gloves and cameras.

Zoo curator Alyn Cairns said: "As Tina was originally bought from a pet shop, we have no official record of her birth date. However, we do know that she arrived in 1966 at the age of 18 months, which means that she is 50 this year.

"On behalf of the whole zoo team, I am delighted to wish Tina an 'elephantastic' 50th birthday."

The public is invited to the zoo this Saturday to join Tina's official celebrations.

For details of activities and times visit belfastzoo.co.uk/events

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