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

Monday, May 21, 2012

Twycross Zoo - Linda

From Eddy Powell, England, 04/02/2012:
I am trying to find out what happen to a young African Elephant I use to look after. Her name is Linda. she was born in 1969. On inquiring with Twycross zoo where we were. I got reply back as follows. Linda was sold to the Chipperfields in 1974 there is a note on her record to say that this sale wa for onward transmission to Cuba. Dose anyone know what happen to her. Thanking you Eddy Powell

The only animal found at as a possible match to the female African in question is the Heidelberg Zoo's "Malinda" (also listed with an alternate name "Susie.") Listed as born in 1971, she arrived to the German facility in 1982. Her death is listed five years later with cause "cholangiolithiasis and herpes virus?"

"Malinda is the small elephant to the left in the picture"
Courtesy of

Only one location in Cuba is documented at to have previously housed an elephant, the Santos Argos Circus with female Asian "Wallace Babe" for a six year period between 1916-1922. This is incorrect, as the Zoológico Nacional de Cuba, which opened to the public in March 1984, exhibits a herd of African elephants in a drive-through setting.

More information is sought regarding the elephant population and history of Cuba - an interesting quandary that few records seem to be available, though not surprising given the communist country's restrictive government.

There is always the possibility the elephant Ms. Powell is searching for has not yet been listed in the records of the largest elephant database online, a living document and continuous effort. More information is sought to help her find this animal.


  1. I believe that Linda went to Knowsley Safari Park in 1974, but I've not been able to ascertain what became of her after that. Knowsley was owned by the Chipperfields of course, so it's quite possible that this was just a convenient staging post en route to another collection.

  2. Thanks Rob. I have confirmation from Jim Stockley that she was never on the Big Show. Waiting for word if perhaps Mary Chipperfield used the animal in performances. Regardless, the Knowsley location supports the Chipperfield statement! Thank you for the help.

  3. Jim StockleyMay 22, 2012

    Roger Cawley says .... " I remember that about that time we did send 4 African elephants to Cuba, through Van den Brink the dealer in Holland, but if one was called Linda and came originally from Twycross I am not sure. That's about all I can say." ;-)

  4. AnonymousMay 22, 2012

    Thank you all for your kind help. I would think the Van den Brink is the route she went.

  5. Knowsley originally opened (in 1971) with a herd of 20 young Africans, but most of these were soon dispersed to other collections (leaving 1.7 by the mid-1970s). I suspect that the shipment to Cuba may have been some of these animals.

  6. How exciting! One door leads to another in this research project. 20 Africans originally! Rob, do you know if these were imported from the Chipperfield station in Uganda?

    This mystery has helped make some procedural changes to The location 'Unspecified Location (Cuba)' has been added to clarify the current/last location of these animals, along with others relocated to the country. The same has been done for Mexico. This will help to better manage records for statistical and research purposes, as well as clear out the 'Unknown' catch-all location.

    Thank you to everyone for your help so far.

  7. The number of 4 Africans, coming from Chipperfields through van den Brink to Cuba (Ryan you wrote: "four African elephants sent through van der Brink from the Chipperfields to Cuba in the mid-1970s"), may possibly be the answer for a second riddle, namely 4 African elephants in the mid-1970s, that I have recorded as unknown location. Their names were Stump, Sambo, and Jumbo and Tempo (Hercules). They were claimed to be born 1968, imported by van den Brink from Africa, and arriving at Knuthenborg Park & Safari in Denmark (The only elephants in that Zoos history, to my knowledge) From there transferred to Copenhagen Zoo 1976-12-23, From Copenhagen arriving Longleat (Chipperfield) 1977-04-20. Roger Cawley wrote me in Nov 2011: "The male was small so Mary took him for the circus, christening him 'Hercules'. He was a very good quiet elephant and took to training very well. Unfortunately after about 2 years he suffered an accident breaking a leg and he had to be put down. " The whereabouts for the three females remain unclear until today. At this time an African named Thumper (similair name to the previous names) arrives Knowsley Safari Park from Longleat, adding a mystery, since it has no documented history before that.

    Roger Cawley also wrote: "Of the 3 females, one was 'Duchess' who went to Paignton Zoo with 'Gay' the Asian. I cannot recall what happened to the other two but they may have gone to Italy as soon after they arrived we sent four or five elephants to a new safari park very close to Fumencino airport, Rome. But that park closed after a short time and I don't know where those elephants went on to. I have not managed to trace this location in Italy.


I eagerly anticipate associating with new individuals with an interest or history in elephants, elephant history and elephant record keeping. If you have further information regarding the animals or locations questioned in the article, please leave a comment or message me in an effort to complete their records for elephant historians.