Wales

Elephants shipped to Tregaron for film

  • 14 August 2013
  • From the section Wales
Media captionThe elephants' handler, along with the film's director and one of its actors, talk about working with the animals

The wildlife of the rural landscape in a small Welsh town has become more exotic after two elephants joined the usual cows and sheep.

The animals have been shipped from Germany to star in a new film about a circus and are staying at Tregaron.

Producers of the film say the animals' welfare has been paramount.

According to local folklore, it is not the first time an elephant has been in the Ceredigion town. One was apparently buried there in 1848.

The local story says that a Victorian travelling circus was visiting the area when one of the elephants, known locally as Jwmbi, fell ill after drinking contaminated water and died.

Its body is believed to be buried in the beer garden of the Talbot Arms.

However, despite archaeologists holding excavations of the area in an attempt to find it, no trace has ever been found.

Image caption The African elephants Citta and Sandra have been staying in a tented enclosure

Now the town is once again welcoming the animals as a circus is recreated in the area for a film called Y Syrcas [The Circus], loosely based on the local story, which will be shown on Welsh-language channel S4C at Christmas.

The pair were shipped in from an elephant farm in Germany in a special transporter, complete with air conditioning, heaters and fresh water.

To keep them happy and comfortable, the African elephants - called Citta and Sandra - have been living and sleeping in a tented enclosure with plenty of shelter and space to roam outside.

The shopping list to feed them is vast, with each one munching their way through 120kg of hay (good quality, no dust); 25kg of horse Muesli (no oats); 25kg of bran; 15kg of apples; and 15kg of carrots every day.

The film, which is directed by Kevin Allen, famous for writing and directing the dark comedy film Twin Town, is set in the 19th Century and tells the story of a young girl, trapped by her father's strict rules and religion, who is captivated by the excitement of the circus.

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