Two retired circus elephants, 41-year-old Opal and 43-year-old Rosie, have arrived at a newly built elephant rehabilitation center in an unlikely spot, the countryside of Maine.
Veterinarian Jim Laurita once worked with Rosie and Opal as an elephant handler for a circus. He has formed a nonprofit with his brother, raised money and built an elephant barn and paddock.
Laurita is treating the Asian elephants for ailments and making their retirement comfortable in what could be described as an old folk’s home for elephants in the small town of Hope, outside of Camden.
He gives tours to school groups and is spreading the word about the need to protect elephants from extinction.