Chunee
Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) at
Exeter Exchange menagerie in United Kingdom

Biography
dead elephant ☨ ♂ Chunee  dead elephant
An anonymous cartoon depicting Chunees execution, 1826
An anonymous cartoon depicting Chunees execution, 1826
Taxidermy locationMuseum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London, United Kingdom

Identification


Description

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

People killed:1: zookeeper
Origin
Born:* wild
Birth place: in West Bengal Unspecified location
Imported:1811-07-00 by English East India Company
Freight:by ship "East Indiaman", Astell, from Bengal,
Death
Dead: 1826-03-01
Death reason: killed: Chunee was hit by 152 musket balls, but refused to die. Chunee was finished off by a keeper with a harpoon or sword
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Exeter Exchange menagerie, in United Kingdom

Date of arrival

1811-00-00Exeter Exchange menagerie
from English East India Company

English East India Company
from West Bengal Unspecified location

Record history
History of updates2022-03-21

Latest document update2022-03-22 03:22:14
Relevant literature
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† Chunee is a dead Male ♂ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), , who died 1826-03-01 at Exeter Exchange menagerie, in United Kingdom, . Official death reason described as Chunee was hit by 152 musket balls, but refused to die. Chunee was finished off by a keeper with a harpoon or sword.

Museum locationThe Museum specimen remains of this animal is within the collection at Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, in London, United Kingdom.


Origin

Chunee was born wild at West Bengal Unspecified location. and imported 1811-07-00 by English East India Company, by ship "East Indiaman", Astell, from Bengal,


Comments / pictures

Chunee became dangerously violent towards the end of his life, attributed to an "annual paroxysm" (perhaps his musth) aggravated by a rotten tusk which gave him toothache. On 26 February 1826, while on his usual Sunday walk along the Strand, Chunee ran amok, killing one of his keepers. He became increasingly enraged and difficult to handle over the following days, and it was decided that he was too dangerous to keep. The following Wednesday, 1 March, his keeper tried to feed him poison, but Chunee refused to eat it. Soldiers were summoned from Somerset House to shoot Chunee with their muskets. Kneeling down to the command of his trusted keeper, Chunee was hit by 152 musket balls, but refused to die. Chunee was finished off by a keeper with a harpoon or sword. The floor of his cage was deeply covered with his blood, and it was said that the sound of the elephant in agony was more alarming than the reports of the soldier's guns.

Reference list

References

Koehl, Dan, (2024). Chunee, Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) located at Exeter Exchange menagerie in United Kingdom. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 25 July 2024 at https://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=1973. (archived at the Wayback machine)


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Categories1826 deaths | Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons Taxidermy | Born in India | 1811 imports | Elephants from Exeter Exchange menagerie | United Kingdom | Mankillers | Asian elephants


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