African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) at
Ringling Bros. Circus in United States

dead elephant ☨ ♀ Zip  dead elephant



Species:African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana)
Sex and age:Female ♀

People killed:1
Born:* wild
Birth place:
Dead: 1893-01-02
Death reason: disease: swallowed four foot long section of chain that weighed ninety pounds
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Ringling Bros. Circus, in United States

Date of arrival

1890-00-00Ringling Bros. Circus
from Shelbys Circus (Dan Shelby)

1888-00-00Shelbys Circus (Dan Shelby)
from Sells Brothers Circus

Record history
History of updates2024-02-04

Latest document update2020-10-18 06:25:24
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† Zip is a dead Female ♀ African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana), , who died 1893-01-02 at Ringling Bros. Circus, in United States, . Official death reason described as swallowed four foot long section of chain that weighed ninety pounds.


Zip was born wild .

Comments / pictures

Contradictory records:

Different sources report different sex for this elephant. Buckles Woodcock says it was a male.

Records about Zip from Bob Cline

African Female 1878 to 1887 - Sells Bros. Circus
1888 to 1889 - Shelby Circus
1888 - Killed her Trainer John Goggy in Dubois, Pa. In Sept.
1890 - Sells and Andress New Colassal Show, Circus, Museum, & Menagerie
1890 to 1892 - Ringling Bros. Circus
Died - Jan. 2, 1893 in Baraboo quarters

Bob Cline, author of the book "Americas elephants".

1888: Killed the Trainer John Goggy in Dubois, Pa. In Sept.
In the Jan.12, 1893 Baraboo, Wisconsin newspaper was the report of Zip passing away although it didn't pin it down to an exact date.
Bob Cline
Curiously when they performed the necropsy, they reportly found inside her stomach a four foot long section of chain that weighed ninety pounds. How it got there no one could say, but for three days before her demise around January 3, 1893, Zip a usually docile and tractable elephant was in a state of wild frenzy. How an elephant could swallow a chain that big is a mystery, but possibly the chain may have been rolled up in a bushel and or perhaps some disgruntled employee tricked her into eating the bushel that may have been covered with fruit,as hungry elephants have been known to swallow baskets of fruit or vegetables in one gulp.
Kenton Cornish

An elephant identified as Zip died in early 1893 and his death is covered in the Baraboo Republic of January 12, 1893. A post mortem was conducted by Prof. Donaldson of a Chicago university and Carl Akeley, then identified with the Milwaukee museum.
Fred Dahlinger
Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). Zip, African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) located at Ringling Bros. Circus in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 25 July 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

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Categories1893 deaths | Elephants from Ringling Bros. Circus | United States | Mankillers | African savanna elephants

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