Forepaughs Bolivar at Philadelphia Zoo

Male Asian elephant Forepaughs Bolivar at Philadelphia Zoo

"Bolivar" in the Philadelphia Zoo
† Forepaughs Bolivar
ID Number:   SSP Number: 555 - 
Species: Asian elephant
Sex and age:Male 47 years
Dead date: 1908-07-21
Death reason: age:
Location:Philadelphia Zoo
ArrivedPhiladelphia Zoo 1888-12-25
from Adam Forepaugh Circus
Adam Forepaugh Circus 1880-00-00
from Van Amburg Circus
Van Amburg Circus 1878-00-00
from Tower Menagerie
Born:1861 wild Sri Lanka
Body height (m and feet): 3.05 meter, 10.0 feet
Body weight (kgs and pounds): 6000.00 kg, 13200.00 lbs
Document updated2012-03-09: picture, text
2013-05-01: text, picture, added tower of london
Killed 2 keepers/trainers before arrival in Philadelphia Zoo.

Records about Forepaughs Bolivar from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at http://www.bucklesw.blogspot.com/
Originally from Tower of London Menagerie
Later on Van Amburg Show 1845
To Adam Forepaugh 1880
Died in 1885. (EDIT Seems this date of death record is false)"



This source states that Forepaughs Bolivar was never in London
According to this source at circus history, Forepaughs Bolivar was not at The Tower menagerie:The second Bolivar was probably imported to America from Ceylon in the late 1860's. He had been with the Van Amburgh show for some years, before being sold to the Adam Forepaugh show, and in 1888 when he was delivered to the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens he was believed to have been approx. 27 years old. The Forepaugh Bolivar died in 1908, and was believed to have been in its late 40's. Bolivar was considered so dangerous at the zoo, that he was never let out of his stall for the last 12 to 15 years of his life. Afterward, its skeleton and mounted hide were for many years on exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The Forepaugh Bolivar was reported to have been, ten feet at the shoulder and weighed 6 tonnes.

http://www.circushistory.org/Query/Query05e.htm


Records about Forepaughs Bolivar from Bob Cline
BOLIVAR 1872 to 1877 - Van Amburgh's Menagerie & Circus
Male Asian 1878 to 1879 - Van Amburgh's Great Golden Menagerie
1880 - bought by Adam Forepaugh for $ 7,100.00
1883 to 1884 - Cooper, Jackson & Co's Great International Allied Shows
1885 - Adam Forepaugh Circus
1886 to 1908 - Philadelphia Zoological Gardens
Died - Aug.2, 1908


1888-11-28: Adam Forepaugh bought Bolivar for 7 000 dollars.
He had been with the Van Amburgh show for some years, before being sold to the Adam Forepaugh show, and in 1888 when he was delivered to the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens he was believed to have been approx. 27 years old. The Forepaugh Bolivar died in 1908, and was believed to have been in its late 40's. Bolivar was considered so dangerous at the zoo, that he was never let out of his stall for the last 12 to 15 years of his life. Afterward, its skeleton and mounted hide were for many years on exhibit at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. The Forepaugh Bolivar was reported to have been, ten feet at the shoulder and weighed 6 tonnes.
Circus history message board1

One of Philadelphia’s biggest 19th-century celebrities was an enormous male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) named Bolivar. In the 1880s, Bolivar was the star attraction of Adam Forepaugh’s Circus, where he was billed as the “Largest & Heaviest Elephant in the World.” Unfortunately, he also had the reputation of being one of the meanest.

In 1888 Forepaugh decided that Bolivar was too dangerous for his circus and gave him to the Philadelphia Zoo. There Bolivar spent the last 18 years of his life with limited human contact. After his death in 1908, Bolivar’s remains were donated to the Academy, which displayed his skeleton and mounted hide side by side for the next 10 years. Unfortunately, the skin deteriorated, but the entire skeleton still resides in the basement within the Academy’s Mammalogy Collection.
Philly’s Un-friendliest Celebrity



Side-by-side displays of Bolivar in what is now part of North American Hall.
Ewell Sale Stewart Library & Archives Coll. no. 49.

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