Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) at
Liverpool Zoological Gardens in United Kingdom

dead elephant ☨ ♂ Rajah  dead elephant
Taxidermy location Liverpool Zoological Gardens, Liverpool, United Kingdom



Species:Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Male ♂

People killed:2: 1843 Henry Andrews, 1848 Richard Howard
Born:* wild
Birth place: in Asia unspecified location
Dead: 1848-06-20
Death location: Liverpool Zoological Gardens
Death reason: shot: executed with rifles
Locations - owners
Present / last location: Liverpool Zoological Gardens, in United Kingdom

Date of arrival

1837-00-00 Liverpool Zoological Gardens
Record history
History of updates2024-03-06

Latest document update2024-03-06 07:50:11
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† Rajah is a dead Male ♂ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), , who died 1848-06-20 at Liverpool Zoological Gardens, in United Kingdom, . Official death reason described as executed with rifles.

Museum locationThe Museum specimen remains of this animal is within the collection at Liverpool Zoological Gardens, in Liverpool, United Kingdom, since 1848-06-20.

Affiliated people

1: Thomas Atkins (owner from 1837 to 1848)


Rajah was born wild at Asia unspecified location.

Comments / pictures

Thomas Atkins died on the 6th June 1848, aged 84, described in his obituary as, “most liberal to all connected to the large establishment of which he was the head.” The saddest incident in the Gardens’ history coincidentally followed less than two weeks later, when his beloved elephant Rajah, whom he had owned for over eleven years, followed its master to its demise. The poor beast grew infuriated after being struck twice with a broom by its keeper (Richard Howard), to make him budge, and he ran at the man, jammed him against the bars of the cage, let him fall, and then crushed him to death underfoot. Rajah had killed a keeper (Henry Andrews) in this manner before, one night in 1843, when “The handle of a broom, with which the deceased had often struck the animal, was found near the place, broken in two pieces.” Rajah was not forgiven this time, and Atkins’ sons John and Edwin first resolved to poison the creature, then, that having failed, had him shot by a company of riflemen.

The Liverpool Mail 23/12/1843, 11/11/1848; The Liverpool Standard 13/6/1848, 20/6/1848

When the elephant house burned down in September 1861 all it contained was the Skeleton of Rajah, which was thus “reduced to ashes”.

The Liverpool Mercury 30/3/1860, 4/5/1861; The Liverpool Mail 31/3/1860; The Daily Post 7/5/1861, 28/9/1861.

Rajah in  Liverpool Zoological GardensThe Shooting of Rajah
Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). Rajah, Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) located at Liverpool Zoological Gardens in United Kingdom. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 25 July 2024 at https://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=17171. (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categories1848 deaths | Liverpool Zoological Gardens Taxidermy | Elephants from Liverpool Zoological Gardens | United Kingdom | Mankillers | Asian elephants

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