Salt at Ringlands Circus (Big Tom Fosset)

† Salt
ID Number:
Species: Asian elephant
Sex and age:Female ♀, unknown maybe about years old (estimated age)
Dead date: 1952-10-05,
Death reason: disease: pneumonia
People killed:1: 1938-10-11: Salt killed the 56 year old groom William James Aslett from Peterborough, employed 1938-09-26
Location:Ringlands Circus (Big Tom Fosset)
ArrivedRinglands Circus (Big Tom Fosset) 1947-00-00
from Dudley Zoo
Dudley Zoo 1945-00-00
from John Swallows circus
John Swallows circus 1922-00-00
from Herbert Taylor (captain Joe Taylor)
Herbert Taylor (captain Joe Taylor) 1904-00-00
from George Lockhart Sr.
George Lockhart Sr. 1902-00-00
from Carl Hagenbecks Tierpark (Neue Pferdemarkt)
Carl Hagenbecks Tierpark (Neue Pferdemarkt) 1898-00-00
from Firma Carl Hagenbeck
Born: wild
Document updated2009-01-22: book
2012-09-20: text
2018-05-16: victim
1898: From import of India, the 4 elephants Salt, Sauce (later Jumbo), Vinegar and Mustard, were trained by Wilhelm Philadelphia, a number called "The Cruet", which was sold to England in 1902 and later presented as "Lockharts Elephants".

1938-10-11: Salt killed the 56 year old groom William James Aslett from Peterborough, employed 1938-09-26.

Salt and Sauce were regularly promoted on Ringland's Circus (the circus owned by Dennis Fossett and formerly by his father, Tom) as being very old. One advert even has them around 90, so the exageration of the age is actually quite mild by comparison. The truth is Salt must have been in no more than in her early 50s when she died, as she and Sauce were clearly only babies when they first arrived in the UK in 1902 having been bought by George Lockhart Snr.
Jamie Clubb Weblog

Marie Edwards recalled: “Salt became trapped in the silt and mud of the lake. “We called in a crane, and a chain was wrapped around her neck to pull her out. “But she became exhausted. People fed her sugar to keep her energy levels up but it didn’t work and she died three days later.”

Salt and her companion Sauce were both born around the turn of the last century so would have been about 50. They were two of Britain’s most high-profile performing elephants, garnering fame for their dazzling array of tricks but notoriety for their bad tempers.

Salt had already crushed her own owner and trainer George Lockhart to death, and Sauce went on to attack and kill elephant groom William Aslett in 1957.

The death of Salt had a great impact on Marie’s family. She said: “My stepfather Abdul Karim was blamed for the accident and was given the sack. “I don’t think it was his fault but nobody knew what to do. They had never had to rescue an elephant before.”

Sources, among others

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