Narrating the correlation of elephants as related to their import, groupings, breeding and transfers,
along with other elephant related topics.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Help Elephants Now

"Helping elephants in human care and in the wild. Help fight Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV) and save elephants all over the world. Donate to the International Elephant Foundation.

The International Elephant Foundation (IEF) actively supports conservation awareness and scientific programs that enhance the survival of elephants and protect their habitats worldwide."

For Additional Information:

>> Help Elephants Now

>> International Elephant Foundation

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Studbook Mysteries - Ruth/Kenna

Six Flags Wild Safari and Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, celebrated their first and only elephant birth in November 1981. The calf was sired by Rip, the last of six imported males still residing at the park. Her mother was Tanya, one of four female African elephants purchased from Hemmingford Parc Safari in Canada to join a number of other females imported with the six males from the Chipperfield organization in Uganda, Africa.

When the calf was two years old, Kenna was sold to the Lion Country Safari location in Grand Prairie, Texas, a location known for distributing and dealing a high number of African elephants throughout the 1980s. It was here that Kenna's identity was temporarily lost, renamed Ruth when purchased by elephant owner, operator and consultant Don Meyer of Jo-Don Farms.

Ruth and other elephants of both species were leased as ride elephants to many different locations while owned by Jo-Don Farms. In late October 1998, Meyer sold his last two elephants, Ruth and Luella, to Brownsville's Gladys Porter Zoo in Texas. Luella died 12 years later relating to a cardiovascular viral infection, leaving the zoo with only two elephants - Ruth and their formerly successful breeding bull, Macho. After Macho's death in March 2005, the Brownsville zoo was left with a decision to acquire more elephants and expand their facility in compliance with recommendations from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or relocate their single elephant and close their exhibit permanently.

Less than two years later, Ruth was transferred to the Milwaukee County Zoo in Wisconsin, becoming a companion animal for the northern zoo's single elephant Brittany. Three months prior, 49 year old Lucy had passed away, leaving Milwaukee in the same dilemma as the Gladys Porter Zoo. With the acquisition of Ruth, the Milwaukee County Zoo continued their elephant exhibit, while that of the Gladys Porter Zoo was permanently closed.

Brittany and Ruth at the Milwaukee County Zoo
Photo Courtesy of Danielle Faucett

Studbook Mystery

In the 2000 & 2003 editions of the studbook, elephant #168 has the following information listed:

Ruth, African Female, SB #168
1979 - Born Africa
1980 - Capture
1981 - Grand Prairie
31 Oct 1985 - Oak Creek
Jun 1986 - Minnesota
01 Nov 1987 - Rio Grande
25 Feb 1988 - Oak Creek
05 Mar 1988 - Lowry
31 Oct 1990 - Oak Creek
25 Oct 1998 - Brownsville
- Elephant is named as Ruth at all locations.

In the 2000 & 2003 editions of the studbook, elephant #209 has the following information listed:

Kenna, African Female, SB #209
02 Nov 1981 - Born Jacks Twp to 88 & 58
1984 - Ferndale
- Elephant is named as Kenna at both locations; Lost to Follow-up


In the 2008 edition of the studbook, elephant #168 has the following information listed:

Kenna/Ruth, African Female, SB #168
02 Nov 1981 - Born Jacks Twp to 88 & 58
12 Dec 1983 - Grand Prairie
31 Oct 1985 - Oak Creek
25 Oct 1998 - Brownsville
14 Dec 2006 - Milwaukee
Elephant is named Kenna at Jacks Twp & Grand Prairie, renamed Ruth at Oak Creek and proceeding locations.

In the 2000 & 2003 editions of the studbook, elephant #209 is not listed, as it only consists of living elephants.


The question arises, were these elephants two different individuals? Were they merged because of a previous error? If they are the same elephant, what is the reasoning for the omissions between Grand Prairie and Brownsville (except Oak Creek) in the 2008 edition? Any help and insight would be greatly appreciated. Please disregard the elephant database in this matter, as it has been updated from both scenarios and is incorrect at this point in time. Ryan

//"Ruth/Kenna, Six Flags/Milwaukee," Elephant Gossip on Facebook, 12/09/2008

Studbook Mystery - Solved

From 1985 to 1998 Ruth was owned by the same company, Jo-Don Farms. She was a ride elephant that went to all those locations temporarily. In Brownsville, DNA testing was done on her which indicated that she was in fact Kenna. I was told they believe the mistake occurred while she was owned by Grand Prairie? They were an animal broker. Luella went to Brownsville with Ruth, who is now dead. As far as I know, Ruth is the only former JD elephant thats actually still alive.

//Danielle Faucett, 01/26/2009

For Additional Information:
>> "Brownsville zoo sending Ruth the elephant to Milwaukee,", 12/06/2006

>> "New African Elephant Now on Exhibit at the Milwaukee County Zoo,", 12/15/2006

>> "Ruth/Kenna, Six Flags/Milwaukee," Elephant Gossip on Facebook, 12/09/2008

>> Milwaukee County Zoo at

>> Gladys Porter Zoo at

>> Jo-Don Farms at

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Water for Elephants

A post borrowed from the Circus No-Spin Zone by Wade Burck, 06/18/2010:

"The beautiful Darlene Williams, Tai, and Gary Johnson on the set of Water for Elephants. Gary is the owner of Tai and Have Trunk Will Travel, and Darlene is teaching Reece Witherspoon to do elephant mounts."

>> "Water for Elephants," Circus No-Spin Zone, 06/18/2010

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Nehru Zoological Park

In 2009, the Central Zoo Authority of India decreed that all zoo and circus elephants were required to be transferred to national parks, sanctuaries, rehabilitation camps, tiger reserves and forest areas, stating that the free-ranging animals’ needs cannot be met in zoos.

A March 2011 news article announced the Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad may be allowed to keep their elephants, pending an inspection requested to the Central Zoo Authority. The article stated the Nehru Zoo owns five elephants, including "the female elephant Rajni that is owned by the Nizam's Trust." The previous year, the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests advised the State government in May 2010 not to return Rajni to her proper owner but rather let her remain at the zoo. The Nehru Zoo is one of the largest of its kind in India. has a list of eight elephants at the location, including two males. This is incorrect if referencing the the news articles from 2010 and 2011. More information is sought regarding the Hyderabad zoo's elephant collection.

For Additional Information:
>> "Jumbo problem for Nizam’s Trust,", 01/08/2010

>> "Rajini to stay put in Nehru Zoo,", 05/25/2010

>> "Jumbos unlikely be relocated from city zoo,", 03/21/2011

>> Nehru Zoological Park at

>> Elephants of the Nehru Zoological Park at

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day

"An elephant from the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus waves the Irish flag to celebrate St Patrick's Day during their customary parade through Washington to announce the arrival of the circus in the city, March 17, 2009."

Photo by Jonathan Ernst, Reuters

Shared by "May All Your Days Be Circus Days" on Facebook
Photo by Yuri Gripas / AFP/Getty Images

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Studbook Mysteries - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

In March 1967, the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, purchased two three year old male African elephants from the International Animal Exchange in Michigan. Amos was returned to the dealer in June 1972; his final story is unknown. 22 year old Paj died at the zoo in May 1986.

The North American Regional Studbook lists Amos as Lost-to-Follow up, or a "documented animal whose current location is unknown."

Amos, African Male, SB 52
1964 - Birth, Africa
1967 - International Animal Exchange, Michigan
03 Mar 1967 - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, Nebraska
07 Jun 1972 - International Animal Exchange, Michigan
Lost to follow-up

Paj, African Male, SB 53
1964 - Birth, Africa
1966 - International Animal Exchange, Michigan
03 Mar 1967 - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, Nebraska
28 May 1986 - Death, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, Nebraska

For Further Information
>> Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

>> International Animal Exchange

>> Elephants of the Henry Doorly Zoo at ZooChat

The Henry Doorly Zoo relocated their last elephant in March 2011, closing their elephant exhibit and granting the area to white rhinos.
Photo Courtesy of

Update: 06/25/2015
Further information has surfaced regarding the disposition of Amos. According to his book "You're the Elephant Man," Frank Kinsey Evans picked up two lions and an African male elephant named Amos from the Omaha zoo. The three ton animal was transported in a modified plywood & steel rhino crate on a trailer pulled by pickup. He lost track of what became of Amos after 1976. Upon arrival to Lion Country Safari in Stockbridge, Georgia, the herd of animals was brought to 7 - one young male and four young female African elephants were new imports, in addition to Amos and another female Moja. Another former employee John Newburn remembers Amos from his time in Georgia. Newburn described him as a mild tempered male who spent most of the days following the park ranger around. Amos is still lost to follow-up after 1976.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Elephants of the United Kingdom

According to the, the largest online database of elephants in the world, the United Kingdom is home to 71 elephants, 15 of which are males. One individual travels with a circus, while another is a sacred temple elephant. The remaining animals are housed in zoos and safari parks across the country.

There are currently four breeding herds in the United Kingdom. Knowsley Safari Park and Howletts Wild Animal Park enjoy success with mating African elephants, while the Whipsnade Wild Animal Park and Chester Zoo both celebrate births of Asian elephants. The Colchester Zoo made history in 2002 with the first elephant birth via Artificial Insemination in the United Kingdom. There are no bachelor herds of male elephants in the country.

Howlett's Wild Animal Park boasts the greatest number of individual elephants currently held, numbering 15 at the present time. They are followed by the Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, which houses nine elephants.

The 'Compilation of Links' page at ShowMe Elephants is updated almost daily at the present time. To the best of knowledge available, an entire listing of elephant pages for United Kingdom holding institutions has been collected and is available for viewing.

'Compilation of Links' Excerpt
>> Belfast Zoo, United Kingdom
>> Blackpool Zoo, United Kingdom
>> Blair Drummond Safari Park, United Kingdom
>> Bobby Roberts Super Circus, United Kingdom
>> Chester Zoo, United Kingdom
>> Colchester Zoo, United Kingdom
>> Howletts Wild Animal Park, United Kingdom
>> Knowsley Safari Park, United Kingdom
>> Paignton Zoo, United Kingdom
>> Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, United Kingdom
>> Skanda Vale Temple, United Kingdom
>> Twycross Zoo, United Kingdom
>> West Midland Safari Park, United Kingdom
>> Whipsnade Zoo, United Kingdom
>> Woburn Safari Park, United Kingdom

A newborn Asian elephant stands with other members of its herd at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park on July 28, 2009 in Whipsnade, England.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shiloh Me Some Elephants

An imported entry from Circus Diaries regarding an event during the 2010 Kelly Miller Circus season with commentary written by Dick Flint for Buckles Blog. Photos by Ryan Easley.

"Probably the largest herd of performing elephants under an American big top this year was seen on June 2 in Shiloh, Pennsylvania, on the Kelly-Miller circus. “From the Kelly-Miller ranch in Oklahoma” were two herds under the combined direction of Armando Loyal and Jason King. The event occurred when Cindy Migley’s Circus Spectacular date for Philadelphia’s Lulu Shrine Temple in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., closed and the show with Jason King and three more of Barbara Byrd's large herd was headed to the Chicago area but laid over for a day to visit John Ringling North II’s Kelly-Miller show." //Dick Flint, Baltimore

It was very interesting to watch the interactions between all the elephants as they were put together in the yard. Lots of rumbles and trumpeting could be heard. All of the elephants except for Viola are kept on the same side of the barn at night during winter quarters. They all get along rather well.

When photos of this event were submitted to Buckles Web Log by Dick Flint, an anonymous comment questioned respected circus historian Buckles Woodcock, "How many elephants does it take to do a "long" mount?" He replied, "More than one."

Because both Lisa and Viola do not mount, they were not going to be able to use one of them for the t-mount and long mount. Armando took my suggestion of using them both as a base and having the others mount off their backs.

Buckles Blog: Commentary and Photos from Dick Flint