By Susie Boniface
For 50 years Anne the elephant languished in chains, beaten and forced to perform as Britain’s last circus elephant.
Now thanks to Sunday Mirror readers she is looked after and loved with her own enclosure at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire.
But while Anne is finally safe, thousands of other elephants live life on the edge, hunted for their ivory, slaughtered by poachers and faced with extinction.
So today we are launching a major charity drive with the Born Free Foundation to save thousands of other elephants.
Using around £24,000 donated by our generous readers over a seven-year campaign to free Anne from her torment, we will be creating a lasting legacy to ensure elephants can live safely in the wild.
Anne’s Army, as it will be known, will pay for squads of trained officers in the West African republic of Burkina Faso.
They will be tasked with protecting herds, helping scientists and doing battle with the poachers who slaughter adults for their tusks, leaving their calves to die of thirst and hunger.
“As the era of elephants in circuses comes to an end, this is a new force for conservation and an investment in the survival of a species,” said Born Free CEO Will Travers. More....