Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) at
Belle Isle Nature Zoo (Safariland, Detroit Zoo) in United States

dead elephant ☨ ♂ Sammy  dead elephant


SSP nr562


Species:Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Male ♂ 30 years old
Born:* 1908 wild
Birth place:
Dead: 1938-03-05
Death reason: euthanised: aggressive
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Belle Isle Nature Zoo (Safariland, Detroit Zoo), in United States

Date of arrival

1933-07-10Belle Isle Nature Zoo (Safariland, Detroit Zoo)
from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

1919-00-00Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
from Ringling Bros. Circus

Record history
History of updates2011-04-16

Latest document update2020-10-18 06:25:24
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† Sammy is a dead Male ♂ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), , who died 1938-03-05 at Belle Isle Nature Zoo (Safariland, Detroit Zoo), in United States, . Official death reason described as aggressive.


Sammy was born wild 1908.

Comments / pictures

"Sammy, an Indian elephant given to the zoo by Ringling Brothers, had become quite mean and had to be destroyed in 1937."
How the Detroit Zoo's first day was almost its last, 02/24/99

"In 1917 the Barnum Show carried 18 Asian elephants, four of which were males. Two tuskers "Pilate" and "Mighty" and two that had no Ivory at all "Albert" and "Coco".
To the uninformed, P.T. Barnum and James A. Bailey were long since dead by this time and the show was owned by the Ringling Brothers. Two years later both shows and titles were merged and the 1919 show carried 36 elephants adding three more Tuskless males "Sammy", "Rio" and "John". This phenomenon is not all that unusual but I have read that Tuskless males in the jungle will instinctly become more ferocious in order to compete with tuskers.
My dad was on the show in 1920 taking care of two camels named "Victor" and "Rosie" and added that the only Tusker at that time was "Mighty" and he had knobs on the end of his Tusks but for some reason they were flat like door knobs. He also mentioned that when the elephant men mounted up to ride to the train the Ringling elephants raised them up with their trunks and the Barnum elephants used their left front foot. Buckles"

Barnum & Bailey/ Mooney's Musical Elephants, Buckles Web Log, 07/21/05

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). Sammy, Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) located at Belle Isle Nature Zoo (Safariland, Detroit Zoo) in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 25 July 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categories1938 deaths | 1908 births | Elephants from Belle Isle Nature Zoo (Safariland, Detroit Zoo) | United States | Asian elephants

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