Nellie at Taronga Zoo

Female Asian elephant Nellie at Taronga Zoo

Picture courtesy Sonia Coleman
† Nellie
ID Number:   ASMP Number: 26 - 
Species: Asian elephant
Sex and age:Female, unknown years
Dead date: 1949-05-21
Death reason: accident: fell into the dry moat, broke her back
Location:Taronga Zoo
ArrivedTaronga Zoo 1948-08-16
from Mitchell Park Zoo
Mitchell Park Zoo 1928-00-00
from Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Bahadur
Born: unknown India
Document updated2013-05-19:
Originally presented to the park by the Maharaja of Mysore in 1928, Nellie became a firm favourite with Durbanites and soon learned to play a mouth organ, crack coconuts and let children ride on her back. Nellie left South Africa in 1949 to go to Taronga Zoo in Australia where the authorities, not knowing what a people-loving animal she was, put her in an enclosure with a moat and a fence around it. She must have been starved for company and one day, while trying to reach over the moat, fell in and broke her back.

Sources, among others

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

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