Raja at Sri Lanka National Zoological Gardens (Dehiwela Zoo)

† Raja
ID Number:
Species: Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Male ♂, unknown years old
Dead date: ,
Death reason: unknown:
People killed:2: 1996: Piyadase
Location:Sri Lanka National Zoological Gardens (Dehiwela Zoo)
ArrivedSri Lanka National Zoological Gardens (Dehiwela Zoo)
Born:1976 wild
Document updated2009-08-20: Birth, Text
2012-02-09: reported dead
2018-05-16: text, name of victim
1996: killed the mahout Piyadasa; Reports of the incident said that Raja and the other zoo elephants were being lined up to go to the arena when the incident happened. As usual the mahouts were giving certain commands to exercise the animals before the performance. When Raja disobeyed an "up" command by Piyadasa , the mahout persisted. Raja lunged towards the man and struck him with his "Milk teeth" (two eight inch teeth under his trunk). The blow sent Piyadasa reeling against a wall and Raja lunged again, his trunk raised. The mahout died on the way to hospital.

1997-12-25: Raja, elephant at National Zoological Gardens who killed his trainer 18 months before, kills another trainer by grabbing with his trunk and goring with his tusk. (Associated Press)

In January 1998, Raja was put up for public auction after being labeled a "killer." On Christmas Day 1997, he grabbed a keeper and gored him with a small tusk. Eighteen months prior, as part of the five elephant performance he grabbed and smashed another trainer into an electric pole, killing him. The zoo director declined to put down the animal due to the predominantly Buddhist country.

Sources, among others

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