Betty at Taronga Zoo

† Betty
ID Number:   ASMP Number: 42 - 
This record may be a duplicate record with Betty at Sole Brothers Circus
Species: Asian elephant
Sex and age:Female, unknown years
Dead date: 1963-05-28
Death reason: euthanised:
Location:Taronga Zoo
ArrivedSole Brothers Circus 1963-05-14
from Bullens Circus
Bullens Circus 1960-00-00
from Perry Brothers circus
Born: unknown
Document updated2013-05-21: text, mankiller, prev loc, duplicate?
This record may be a duplicate record with Betty at Sole Brothers Circus
Betty at the time with Soles was with two young cow babies , Ginny and Sheba. Betty killed William Walker, the nephew of Joe and Jean Perry at Kalangadoo in South Australia , she was given to Bullens.


Stan Walker's brother Bill was killed by an elephant when he was 32. He was working as a journalist for the Newcastle Sun and had gone down to South Australia to stay with the circus for 2 weeks holiday - he had worked for the circus on a number of occasions. He'd taken his camera with him and was planning to write a children's story about circus life. He went to see the elephant early one morning and it's thought it became excited at seeing him again. It picked Bill up in its trunk and must have knocked his cheek hard (giving him a "welcoming hug"). A piece of fragmented bone pierced his brain. The elephant laid him gently on the ground and that was how Jean found him. There wasn't a mark on him apart from a slight bruise on his cheek.

1963: Betty was sadly put down at Taronga Park Zoo , along side Doll Wirths old elephant , they were both put down at the same time (Ratcliffe)

Sources, among others

  • Tony Ratcliffe
  • Australasian Region Asian Elephant Studbook (2004) compiled by David Pepper-Edwards, Australia

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