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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hoxie Brothers Circus - Sue

From the Records of Bob Cline:

SUZIE Q, Female Asian
1947 - King Bros. Circus
1949 to 1950 - Rogers Bros. Circus
1952 - Hills Bros. Greater Shows
1954 to 1957 - Ring Bros. Circus
1958 - Trapeze Bros. Circus
1959 to 1960 - Ring Bros. Circus
1961 - Bailey Bros. Circus
1962 - Fargo Bros. Circus
1963 to 1965 - Hoxie Bros. Circus
1966 - Beers-Barnes Circus
1967 to 1977 - Hoxie Bros. Circus
(No further Records)

Hoxie Bros. Circus 1975; The Herriott Family.
Elephants are "Hazel", "Sue" and "Bonnie"
Courtesy of

Final story
A small piece of information found in a 1978 Edition of the publication Circus Report brings to light the final story for Sue.

Circus Report, 7th year No 18 Page 5, 04/31/1978
Courtesy of

"Irene would have been the replacement. While the article is in 1978, the occurrences happened in 1977 apparently late in the year." //Bob Cline

This elephant is not listed in the North American Regional Studbook for the Asian Elephant.

Update 04/28/2012:
More information regarding the death of Sue is found in a November 1977 issue of Circus Report.
Circus Report, 6th year No 47 Page 18, 11/21/1977
Courtesy of

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Father's Photographs - Lincoln Park Zoo

The following pictures were taken in June 1993 at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. At the time indicated, three elephants resided at the zoo - 18 year old year old Asian elephant Bozie and her three year old daughter Shanti and 15 year old African elephant Binti.

Photo 1, Lincoln Park Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Columbian Park Zoo

"We were founded in 1908, we're the second oldest Zoo in the entire state of Indiana. We've housed all sorts of animals here at Columbian Park Zoo. We had an elephant at one point, we had large primates, we've had bears, we've had mountain lions, we've had all sorts of different animals," said Zookeeper Noah Shields.

>> "Little zoo offers big experiences,", 04/24/2011

"In 1928, the main Animal House was constructed, which is still standing today! One of the first inhabitants of the Animal House was "Linco" the elephant, who was purchased from the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus in Peru, Indiana. Nearly 10,000 school students in Lafayette and West Lafayette raised more than $2,000 toward the purchase of the elephant, then named "Ruth." Lincoln School students exceeded their school's fund raising quota and earned the honor of renaming the elephant to Linco."

>> "Columbian Park Zoo" at

Photo Courtesy of

From the records of Bob Cline:
Ruth, Female Asian
1914 to 1915 - Howe's Great London circus
1916 to 1924 - John Robinson Circus
1925 to 1927 - Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus
1928 to 1943 - Lafayette, IND. Zoo
1944 - Bailey Bros. Circus
Died winter of 1944

Contradictory Records
The North American Regional Studbook for the Asian Elephant upgraded this animal in the 2010 Edition with an official studbook number 732. She was previously listed with Temporary Studbook Number T2265. Some information differs from the records of Bob Cline, listing Ruth arriving at John Robinson in 1923 and the omission of Howe's Great London Circus.

Photo Courtesy of

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Father's Photographs - Milwaukee County Zoo

Origininally titled "Mystery Zoo - Mystery Photographs"

These three photos were likely mixed in with the Brookfield Zoo set and are not located at the Chicago zoo. They were taken in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Perhaps details in each photo can help to identify each elephant, such as the first missing part of her tail, the second with a 'boot' on her foot and the third a younger (presumably captive-born) calf. The background scenery and fencing can also provide other clues.

Photo 1, Mystery zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Brookfield Zoo - Cookie

From Wade Burck's "Circus No-Spin Zone:"

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Father's Photographs - Brookfield Zoo II

The following pictures were taken in the late 1980s to early 1990s at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois.

Photo 1, Brookfield Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

From ZooBorns:

April 5, 2010
Elephant Easter Egg Hunt
A young elephant calf and mom examine a paper mache Easter egg in their habitat at the North Carolina Zoo Saturday. Although the paper eggs, filled with food treats, have become a yearly Easter-time enrichment item for many of the park's animals, Saturday marked the first time that the elephants have received them.
Photo credits: North Carolina Zoo

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jungleland Mystery Photograph

From Wade Burck's "Circus No-Spin Zone:"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Jungleland--Available for Purchase
1961 Sheba and Bamboo II standing, unknown elephant laying down.
Posted by Wade G. Burck

Radar said...
Is this the Bamboo owned by Morgan Berry before she was sold to Seattle in 1968? The studbook states she was born in 1966, so this would be unlikely. What is this animal's story?
Is this the Sheba owned by Wallace Brothers in 1961, later a Cristiani elephant before arriving at the Buffalo Zoo in 1984?

Wade said...
A Brookfield Zoo staff member mentioned a week or so ago, that their record keeping was shoddy. On it's best day, in the past, a circus's record keeping would have been appreciated if it had been at least shoddy, as I am sure you have found out by now. A treat would have been somebody recording it on a napkin in the cook house. As it's stand's most of it is word of mouth ...
Bamboo I, Bamboo II, Bamboo III, Little Bamboo, Bamboo Jr. etc. etc., unless it's name was changed to Sparkle on the Hoot Bros. show for a year, before becoming Big Mable on the Toot Bros. show. That's how you develop the "elephant record book twitch." Your guess is as good as anybody's. LOL I don't know if you recall Mary Ann chastising me a couple of years ago on the blog, for being cold and heartless when I suggested the captive animal world had missed the boat by not assigning just a number to all animals from the time of capture birth, and only having a insignificant "barn name" for handling by keepers and trainers. Trainers could change it's name a dozen times over it's life, but it would still be #56932, with a name of no consequence,regardless of it's spelling or accented pronunciation, as is done now for the most part.

Another possibility for the 'Bamboo II' elephant is an elephant listed in the North American Regional Studbook for the Asian Elephant, 'Bimbo II.' With a Temporary Studbook Number and Lost to Follow-up, she is listed as arriving to Louis Goebel in February 1961, Jungleland in 1962 (a possible redundancy?) and finally to Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, California, in October 1969.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Father's Photographs - Brookfield Zoo I

The following pictures were taken in the late 1980s to early 1990s at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. Records indicate during this time frame the zoo owned six elephants - female Africans Christy, Affie, Mame and Mtoto, along with female Asians Babe and Patience.

Patience is easily identified by the warts on her trunk. Babe has a ‘boot’ on her right rear foot. Christy is the youngest of the Africans.

It appears the two species were kept in separate yards. Were the yards combined during the renovation, which included removal of the dry moat and installation of a pipe and cable fence?

Photo 1, Brookfield Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Photo 2, Brookfield Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Photo 3, Brookfield Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Photo 4, Brookfield Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Photo 5, Brookfield Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Photo 6, Brookfield Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Photo 7, Brookfield Zoo
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Studbook Mysteries - Seabury

From Wade Burck's "Circus No-Spin Zone:"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Vintage Brookfield Zoo Elephants
The photo above is from 1953, elephant unknown, at the Brookfield Childrens Zoo. It is incredible today to think that they used to keep and raise the young elephants in the Children's Zoo. Does anyone know if they actually kept the elephants at the Childrens Zoo, or did the bring them back and forth from the elephant house each morning and night. The sand/dirt walkway around the pen was most likely a path as the animals probably paced along the fence and it prevented the grass from tearing up, and becoming unsightly.
Posted by Wade G. Burck

Susan said...
Based on records I'm guessing this is Melinda, wild born in 1951 and came to Brookfield from Seabury in 1952. She died in October of '53.
Apparently from spring till fall we would keep young elephants at the Children's Zoo - they would return to the Pachyderm House during the winter months. Over the years we had several calves at the Children's Zoo - Winkie, Mame, Babe/Baby Brookfield, Cora/Noel (who lives at the CEC)... There are probably others but record keeping was practically nonexistent back then.
If you look on eBay there are usually postcards of elephants at the Children's Zoo. To the best of my knowledge we did this up until the '70s.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Studbook Mysteries - Belle Isle Zoo

This article is an update to "Studbook Mysteries - Firma Ruhe I," posted on February 23, 2011 regarding Detroit elephants Mary and Mona.
>> "Studbook Mysteries - Firma Ruhe I" at ShowMe Elephants

The Detroit Zoological Society was founded in 1911, 28 years after the first zoo in Detroit began based on a bankrupt circus. Their first zoo opened 17 years later in 1928. This institution was located on Belle Isle on the Detroit River. Through several name and purpose changes, it permanently closed in 2004. According to the Detroit Zoo, it was the Motor City's only zoo until 1947, upon which time it was converted to a Children's Zoo and its replacement was built in Royal Oak, a suburb of the largest city in Michigan. During this transition, the majority of the wild animals were moved to the secondary location, though some elephants and giraffes were reported to have remained. It is unknown which elephants resided at which location during the several decade period that both locations kept animals. Other sources state the zoo was transferred in 1956, prompting the transition of Belle Isle to a Children's Zoo.

"Belle Isle was Detroit's first zoo, a menagerie. In the modern era it was an aquarium and children's zoo. I believe it was managed by the Detroit Zoo. Probably had baby elephants at Belle Isle and moved them to the Zoo in Royal Oak as they grew up if they didn't get moved elsewhere sooner." //Jim Alexander

Studbook Entry
The North American Regional Studbook only lists a single elephant residing at Belle Isle, a male named Johnny with a Temporary Studbook Number, Lost to Follow-up and little information provided. All other Detroit-located elephants are listed as the Detroit Zoo with no differentiation made between Royal Oak or Belle Isle.

Former elephant house in the 1940s
Photo Courtesy of

Mary and Mona
Mary and Mona, two elephants mentioned previously in the Firma Ruhe Studbook Mysteries article, arrived at the Belle Isle Detroit Zoo in July 1947. It is unknown when they were relocated to Ruhe, thus also unknown whether they were in Detroit's ownership during the 1956 zoo relocation.

According to information provided by Jim Alexander and Wade Burck, the young female Asian elephant Suki was only located at the Belle Isle Children's Zoo before she was sold to private owners Paul and Dorothy Kelly in 1969. This is one confirmed needed correction for studbook records, in addition to Mary and Mona's arrival to the Belle Isle-located Detroit Zoo in 1947, rather than the Royal Oak location. This discovery is referenced on Wade Burck's "Circus No-Spin Zone."
>> "Ghost Zoo - Belle Isle Zoo Elephant (1)," Circus No-Spin Zone, 04/04/2011
>> "Ghost Zoo - Belle Isle Zoo Elephant (2)," Circus No-Spin Zone, 04/04/2011

Suki now resides at the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington.
>> "Point Defiance Zoo I" at ShowMe Elephants

Mystery Elephant Photo
A mystery photo has been found in the Detroit News collection. It is only titled "Belle Isle Children's Zoo;" the date and elephant's identity are unknown.

Mystery Elephant Photo - Belle Isle Zoo
Photo Courtesy of

Johnny, Asian Male, SB T2196
1941 - Birth, Asia
~1942 - Detroit Zoo (Belle Isle), Belle Isle, Michigan
- Lost to Follow-Up

For Additional Information
>> "Detroit Zoo (Belle Isle) / Belle Isle Children's Zoo" at

>> "Belle Isle Zoo" at

>> "Belle Isle Zoo" at

>> "Detroit Zoo Looks Back on 80 Years of History," Detroit, 07/23/2008

>> "Where the Wild Things Aren't,", 01/25/2009

>> "Belle Isle Zoo" at

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Week in Pictures

Oklahoma City Zoo celebrates first elephant birth

Portland Zoo celebrates Packy's 49th birthday

Ringling Brothers Circus celebrates Sarah's 10th birthday

Retired Carson & Barnes elephant may move to Maine

Honolulu Zoos works on completing new $11.5 million elephant exhibit

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mystery Photo - Belle Isle Zoo

"G’day Dan and Ryan, I picked the attached postcard at a post card show recently, any idea on date and name? Happy Days." //Wayne Jackson, Retired Wanderin’ Elephant Man

"Belle Isle was Detroit's first zoo, a menagerie. In the modern era it was an aquarium and children's zoo. I believe it was managed by the Detroit Zoo. Probably had baby elephants at Belle Isle and moved them to the Zoo in Royal Oak as they grew up if they didn't get moved elsewhere sooner." //Jim Alexander

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Studbook Mysteries - Lincoln Park Zoo

From Wade Burck's "Circus No-Spin Zone:"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Vintage Lincoln Park Zoo
This photo taken in 1963 shows Teena being walked around the zoo.
Posted by Wade G. Burck

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mystery Elephant Photo

Anne Hutton with elephant at zoo, circa 1925
Photo Courtesy of Robin Hutton,

Inquiry and Response
"G'day Robin, I was wondering if you knew which Zoo this Asian female lived in and what her name was? I am one of several Elephant people around the world that collect info and photos of elephants in captivity. Looking forward to hearing from you! Happy Days." //Wayne The Retired Wanderin Elephant Man

"These were found among a great pile of my mums photos. Nothing written on them but at that age she lived in Dublin." //Robin Hutton

Possible solution
If this picture were taken at the Dublin Zoo in Ireland, the EAZA-EEP Asian Elephant Studbook only lists one possible elephant residing at the zoo during this time frame. Listed without a name, the female arrived in February 1912 from London. No further information is given and she is listed as "Lost to Follow-up."

Unknown, Female Asian, EEP 1100
Unk - Birth, Asia
Jan 1911 - PUBLIC
06 Nov 1911 - LONDON RP
27 Feb 1912 - DUBLIN
- Lost to Follow-up

Jonas Livet's states a female elephant named Sandari resided at the zoo alone from 1912 to 1927. In 1927, she was joined by an unnamed elephant that died the same year. A replacement was acquired in 1929, named Dangiri Amma. Sandari died the following year in 1930.

Request for Information
The estimate regarding the EEP studbook's unnamed elephant and Livet's 'Sandari' are solely based on the photograph owner's statement of her mother residing in Dublin at the time.

Any information that could lead to the positive identification of this animal (in addition to further information regarding the lost Dublin elephant) would be greatly appreciated to complete elephant records and to satisfy the inquiries of Peter Dickinson, Wayne Jackson and ShowMe Elephants.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Week in Pictures

Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake feeds Ringling elephant

Ringling Brothers elephant walk in Baltimore

African elephant Ruby dies at PAWS

Asian elephants perform with Kelly Miller Circus in Arkansas

African elephants perform with Circul Orlando in Romania

Circus elephant Anne retired to Longleat Safari Park

42 year old Zitta dies at Budapest Zoo

Saturday, April 9, 2011

George, Tulsa Zoo

The Tulsa Zoo presents a display in their elephant building for news articles, stemming many decades, relating to their elephant program. Through referencing these articles and conversations with elephant personnel, the following information was discovered regarding George, a young male Asian elephant belonging to the institution.

Don Meyer originally purchased the five year old male elephant from Morgan Berry for The Ranch. The Ranch, located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, was originally a facility for the mentally handicapped. Meyer was responsible for forming a zoo through the organization before founding his own entity, Jo-Don Farms.

The animal's namesake was George Spiedel, director of the Milwaukee Zoo with whom Meyer had worked with as elephant consultant to the institution. The Tulsa Zoo later acquired George by trading to the Ranch Zoo three recently born tiger cubs; the Ranch Zoo planned to sell the animals for fund raising. Don Meyer was attempting to build an elephant breeding program at the Tulsa Zoo with the acquisition of their first male elephant.

At nine and a half years old, George was found dead. A necropsy found internal bleeding near his heart; his body was buried. He had previously mated with Tooma but no pregnancy occurred.

Former Tulsa Zoo elephant exhibit, late-1980s
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

George, Asian Male, SB 594
1968 - Birth, Asia
Unk - Morgan Berry
Unk - Don Meyer
Unk - The Ranch Zoo, Menomonee Falls,
27 Sep 1972 - Tulsa Zoo, Tulsa, Oklahoma
02 May 1977 - Death, Tulsa Zoo, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Friday, April 8, 2011

Point Defiance Zoo I

The Port Defiance Zoo describes themselves as a "national leader in handling elephants considered too dangerous to be kept and trained using traditional methods." They acquired Hanako in December 1997 from the Portland Zoo because of her "unpredictable and moody" disposition. There she joined Suki and Cindy. Suki had arrived in March 1996 from Dickerson Park Zoo after she slammed a keeper against a wall. Cindy was the zoo's first "troubled" elephant, arriving in February 1992 with a history of grabbing and biting people. In August 2005, Bamboo arrived from the Woodland Park Zoo after being unable to cohabitate with the younger elephants and calf. However, she was unable to be integrated into the group and was returned to her previous home ten months later.

Cindy was first imported to the Port Defiance Zoo in 1964 at three years old. The 18 year old elephant was transferred in December 1982 to the San Diego to be bred with the Wild Animal Park's bull elephant, Ranchipur. After attacking a keeper at the park in 1989 she was temporarily relocated to the Portland Zoo before she could reg ressto Washington. Upon her return in 1992, the Tacoma zoo had built a $2.3 million new elephant barn and habitat. They also established a protected contact management program to accommodate her.

Following her death in November 2002, controversy surrounded the disposal of the 40 old elephant after she was buried at a local landfill rather than cremating the 8000 pound animal as planned. In February 2003, the Point Defiance rededicated the elephant barn in her memory.

Hanako was the fourth elephant born at Washington Park Zoo, nine days after her half-brother Dino. Breeding bull Thonglaw sired the first calf for dam Tuy Hoa.

By the time she was 19, Hanako had given birth to four calves, though only Sabu lived longer than two months. She spent the first 34 years of her life at the zoo where she was born, sans a 16 month breeding loan to the Los Angeles Zoo with half-sister Me-Tu. Both elephants were bred by their half-brother Packy (all three elephants sired by Thonglaw). Two months before their return, Me-Tu gave birth. One month after their return, Hanako gave birth to a calf as well.

Hanako at the Portland Zoo, August 1994
Photo Courtesy of M Easley

Cindy, Female Asian, SB 212
1962 - Birth, India
~1964 - Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, Washington
15 Dec 1982 - San Diego Wild Animal Park, Escondido, California
28 Nov 1989 - Portland Zoo, Portland, Oregon
19 Feb 1992 - Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, Washington
19 Nov 2002 - Death, Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, Washington

Hanako, Female Asian, SB 51
24 Sep 1963 - Birth, Portland Zoo, Portland, Oregon
28 Oct 1974 - Los Angeles Zoo, Los Angeles, California
11 Feb 1976 - Portland Zoo, Portland, Oregon
09 Dec 1997 - Point Defiance Zoo, Tacoma, Washington

For Additional Information:
>> "Dangerous Elephant To Get Bigger Quarters,", 11/25/1982

>> "Popular Elephant's Carcass Dumped With The Garbage,", 11/26/2002

>> "Zoo to rededicate elephant barn in Cindy’s memory,", 02/11/2003

>> "Defiant attitude better suited for Pt. Defiance,", 08/12/2005

>> "Elephants of the Point Defiance Zoo" at ZooChat

(To Be Continued...)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion, located in Doswell, Virginia, acquired six female African elephants around 1976. Three were purchased from Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach, Florida, while another three were imported directly from South Africa.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

San Diego Zoo Safari Park Map

From the San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Official Facebook page:

Our spiffy new map, along with our new wayfinding system, will make navigation throughout the Park a lot easier. Thanks to our talented design team for a job well done. Check it out:

From the San Diego Zoo Safari Park's Website:

If you would like to see elephants, you can travel to Africa, of course, but the easiest way to observe these mighty creatures is to come to the Safari Park! We have two large exhibit yards for our African elephant herd. The adults were rescued from Swaziland in 2003, where they were scheduled to be killed due to overpopulation in that area. Since then, we’ve celebrated the births of several new additions!

From the Elephant Overlook at the north end of Elephant Valley, you can view the elephant barns and holding yards, where the elephants go in the mornings when the keepers are cleaning the spacious main yards and hiding treats for the elephants to discover.

Elephants enjoy a dip in a pool of water, or at least like to get their feet wet. The large pond, shaded with trees, is for our elephants to do just that, and you can observe the action from the Elephant Viewing Patio, located at the south end of Elephant Valley. There are also shade structures made of simulated rock and plenty of room to roam. Our youngsters are especially fun to watch as they splash about or cavort in one of the mud holes. In fact, the little calves seem to entertain guests no matter what they’re up to!

When not at the Park, be sure to watch our elephants on Elephant Cam.