SPOILER NewsWire: Grey as a mouse, Big as a house - ... but old Oliphaunt am I, And I never lie

"Big as a house" indeed!
Mark Mitchell / New Zealand Herald
Remember that photograph of what originally was thought to be the Nazgul's flying steed? Well, the newer photograph to the right is proof positive that it was really was a mûmakil! (As always, click on the image to see a larger version.)

Oliphaunt is hard to miss in Rings trilogy
The New Zealand Herald

At first glance it's obvious. Of course it's an elephant.

But on closer inspection it becomes apparent that this is a very big elephant, more like several woolly mammoths rolled into one than the comparatively tiny frame of say, Kashin, from Auckland Zoo.

That is because it is no woolly mammoth, nor is it a common old elephant. It is an oliphaunt, as Lord of the Rings devotees all know.

This poor creature, photographed in a paddock at QEII Park on the Kapiti Coast, north of Wellington, must have died a painful death in the J.R.R. Tolkien books Peter Jackson's film is based on, judging by the number of spears that have pierced its leathery hide.

The oliphaunt was a creature apparently similar to the elephant - but bigger - and, as the wooden contraption attached indicates, it was used as a beast of burden.

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