I was running through the Indian desert, with my herd and new calf. He was my first born. Every other elephant was admiring him, when we heard a gun shot far off in the distance. The leader of the herd, Tah Sai, thought it would be safer to move on, so we did.
We were having a drink and swim in the water hole far away from where we heard the gunshot. Today our luck had just run out. A Safari Jeep came racing towards the water hole. Inside the vehicle were four men. There was one driving, two holding guns and another man who was tangled in a net. Tah Sai sounded his alarm signal, which practically meant RUN!
The next thing I knew, I was in the back of a truck with my baby. I didn’t understand what was going on or where we were going. Suddenly the back of the truck opened. I could see some strange creatures standing there looking at me.
‘We’re home,’ I thought as we walked into our new habitat. It was beautiful and looked just like our real home in the wild. By now I had worked out that we were saved and were being transferred to a zoo.
A week had past and I wanted to make a break for it. Living in a zoo was awful. The strange creatures only fed me and my baby once everyday. All we got was water and grass, nothing else. We had been moved to a smaller cage, sharing with five other elephants. We had only a small amount of shelter which we had to defend for.
A month passed, getting worse each day. One morning a mysterious vehicle arrived at the zoo. Two strangers stepped out. Immediately they started to argue with the owners of the zoo. I couldn’t understand their language. One of the strangers walked over to me while I was against the fence of the cage. “Oh you poor thing. That’s no way to live, especially with a baby.” The stranger called over somebody else and they started to talk amongst themselves.
Once again we were in the truck. Suddenly the vehicle stopped and the door opened. The two strangers from the other day were standing there. They loaded us out cautiously into our new habitat. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This was a lot better than our old habitat, but I thought back to what it was like living in a zoo. I put on my brakes. I didn’t want to go in. Somehow the lady there showed me I was safe. I actually believed her and went in.
The owners renamed me Sabu. Our new home was humongous. We got fed twice a day with snacks in between. Watermelon was my favourite. Every morning people came to visit at the zoo just to feed us. Although there were hundreds of people, I loved it here. It was my new home and I was never going to leave Australia Zoo.


25 was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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