Tembo an African savanna elephant at Copenhagen Zoo

 ☨ ♂ Tembo  
Photo: © Jens Madsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo: © Jens Madsen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Species:African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Sex and age:Male ♂ 36 years old
Id number
Body height: 3.50 meter, 11.5 feet
Body weight: 6250.00 kg, 13750.00 lbs
Born:* 1934 wild
Birth place:
Dead date: 1970-05-05
Death reason: euthanised: uncontrollable, destroyed stable
Present / last location:Copenhagen Zoo, in Denmark

Date of Arrival

1936-06-05Copenhagen Zoo from Christoph Schulz

Document updated2009-09-09: text
2012-02-29: height
2020-09-24: weight
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† Tembo is a dead musth Male ♂ African savanna elephant, (Loxodonta africana), who died at Copenhagen Zoo, in Denmark, euthanised in 1970-05-05, uncontrollable, destroyed stable(see detailed list).


Tembo was born wild 1934. and imported 1936?

Comments / pictures

Tembo three years old, at arrival to Copenhagen.
Caught in Sudan by Christoffer Schuls.

First rented through firma August Fochelmann in Hamburg from Fred Lawson in London for 500 danish crowns/month, 1937 bought, and donated from Dr. Böje Benzon.

Broke his left tusk 1940-01-20.

Ate a camera from a visitor in 1959.

In May 1970 he started to become very aggressive,a d destroyed gates etc in his stable.

The reason for his sudden violent behavior was caused by one of his teeth(molars)where growing downwards and his jawbone was split in two.

Experts stated that it had caused him severe pain. Before the sufferings began, he was a very calm and friendly elephant both towards his keepers and to the public.

At death his weight was minimum 6 250 kgs. One of europes largest elephants ever, maybe even worldwide. His death created negative feelings with the danish public. The day after several windows were destroyed in the house of the Copenhagen Zoo director.

Reference listKoehl, Dan, (2020). Tembo, an African savanna at Copenhagen Zoo in Denmark. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 25 November 2020 at https://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=2153. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

  • Height: Henry Merker, Tiergarten-Forum
  • Jens Madsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Erland Axel Wadsten
  • Elefanter i Köpenhavns Zoologisk Haave siden 1878, by Henning, Copenhagen, Denmark


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    Categories1970 deaths | 1934 births | Born in Sudan | 1936 imports | Elephants from Copenhagen Zoo | Denmark | African savanna elephants

    This document was updated: 2020-10-24 09:45:35

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