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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Story of Jumbo

Jumbo the elephant was born around Christmas 1860 and lived about 25 years passing away September 15, 1885. Jumbo the Elephant was a 19th century male African bush elephant that was born in Sudan. He would spend some time in a zoo in Paris and in 1865 travel to the London Zoo. P.T. Barnum would purchase Jumbo March 1882.

The elephant gained his popular name "Jumbo" by being large in size. His shoulders height measured 10.6 feet.

Jumbo's mother had been killed by hunters. Jumbo spent time in both the Paris zoo and the zoo in London. In London he gained fame for giving rides to visitors. While at the zoo in London Jumbo would break both his tusks. The tusks would regrow but Jumbo would use the stonework of his cage to break them down. The decision to sell the elephant to the Barnum & Bailey circus was not without objection. There were letters from 100,000 school children to Queen Victoria begging her not to sell the elephant as well as lawsuits from the Zoological Gardens.

Jumbo would die at the railway yard in Ontario Canada September 1885. The circus would crisscross North America by train. Jumbo would be hit as he was being led to the box car with other animals. He would be mortally wounded, dying within minutes. Jumbo's skeleton was donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. His heart was sold to Cornell University


  1. sadness in this story..but now we know about him. They are such majestic creatures with strong feelings for family.
    a-z visitor


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