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During the World War II, there were any big animals at the zoo in Japan, because the army decided to kill them in order to make a judgement that they were dangerous for people if they had escaped at the air raid. After the war, many foreign countries gave Japanese children animals as present. From Thailand, elephant “Hanako” came to Japan in 1949. She was the first elephant came to Japan after the war. Indian Nehru gave an elephant “Indira” after Hanako came to Japan. Hanako traveled around Japan to meet many children in 1950. There were some accidents and tragedy in her life. When she stayed Oshima island, she escaped during the morning walk. In 1956, a drunken man stole into Hanako’s house at Inogashira zoo park at midnight, and he was trampled to death by frightened Hanako. In 1960, Hanako’s keeper was crushing to death by Hanako. After this accident, one keeper took care of her by his wholehearted support. Gradually Hanako became to open her mind. Now she is 66-year-old, the oldest elephant in Japan. There are many fan of Hanako around Japan. When I went to see Hanako, many people spoke to her. An old man cried to her “Thank you, Hanako-san!” He said us that when he meet Hanako, he was able to get cheered up by Hanako. We know Hanako’s life had been with the pain. Some years ago, I watched TV program that Hanako’s Thailand ex-ower came to Japan to meet her. He said “I’m sorry, Hanako.” If she had stayed in Thailand, her life were different. Now I hope she would be quietly for the rest of her life.

Hanako, elephant at Inogashira zoo

Suddenly Hanako steps on the wall of the moat! She reaches her long nose.

Hanako pulls grass out over the moat.

Hanako pulls grass out over the moat.

Hanako eats that grass.

Hanako eats that grass.

Hanako plays the grass

Hanako plays the grass

Hanako and children in 1950

Hanako and children in 1950

Hanako at Izu Oshima island in 1951

Hanako at Izu Oshima island in 1951

Hanako fell into the moat in 1965

Hanako fell into the moat in 1965

Hanako box lunch

Hanako box lunch

Inogashira zoo park

Green of Inogashira zoo park

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