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     Largest collection of elephants

[June 2]MERCED, California, US--Mallernee-Briley has the world's largest collection of elephants: 5,000. This new world record will be included in our 2008 edition of Book of World Records.

    Mallernee-Briley, 50, claims to have 5,085 elephant-related items. But this number includes duplicates, which she cannot count for the record.

     This brings the total she will submit down just below 5,000, she said.

      The previous record for "largest elephant collection" is 4,233 items, according to an e-mail from the Guinness World Records office in London. It was set by the recently deceased Sandy Rosen-Hazen, who had been collecting items relating to elephants since 1940.

     Mallernee-Briley, a Merced resident since 1985, is employed as a sales associate at Wal-Mart. She buys some elephant items at work, but more often she receives them as gifts from customers and co-workers.

     Her enthusiasm for elephants began at age 16 when her aunt and uncle gave her a plaster elephant they purchased from a road-side vendor for $5. "Since then, people have just given them to me," she said. "I just love elephants. They are really cool."

     Mallernee-Briley keeps a written inventory of all her elephant-related collectibles. It includes items such as movies about elephants and an elephant tusk replica. She is also having her collection photographed.
"The Elephant lady"
(click here to enlarge)

    And she actually does have a trash grabber with an elephant on top.

    She said about a third of her collection are gifts from friends and family, a third she bought in stores, and a third she found on e-Bay. "It's not an obsession," she said.

     She acquired about 400-500 ceramic figurines and stuffed animals before packing them away about seven years ago.

   But after a couple of years, she realized she missed them. "I kind of kick-started it," her husband said. "I started bringing (elephants) to her."

   She has custom-made wood sign in her house. It says "elephant lady."

   Sources: Marleene website, media reports

   Marleene website at