Axel Gautier

From the list of elephant persons Family: Gautier

Axel Gautier
Alexander  Gautier
Axel Gautier 1986.
Personal details
Country United States

Work locations
Title elephant head-keeper 1989-1993
Location at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus - Retirement Farm in United States

Title elephant trainer 1978-1979
Location at Circus World (Polk City) in United States

Title chief elephant trainer 1970-1989
Location at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus (Blue Unit) in United States

Title assistant elephant trainer 1969-1970
Location at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus (Blue Unit) in United States

Title assistant elephant trainer-1969
Location at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in United States

Biography details

Alexander Gautier , circus elephant trainer in United States

Born 1942-01-11 in Germany dead 1993-05-05 in United States , son of animal trainer Lulu Gautier and animal trainer Edith Gautier .

Born in 1942 in Breslau, Germany, which is now a part of Poland, Mr. Gautier was descended from six generations of circus performers. His ancestors founded the Didier Gautier circus in France.

Lulus son Axel (-1993), went as assistant to Hugo Schmitt to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baileys Circus in 1947, when they bought the elephants from Hagenbecks Circus. Axel Gautier remained with the Ringling show to replace Hugo Schmitt in 1970, and was in charge of the Blue Unit's elephant Herd through 1989.

Axel Gautier

Axel GautierAxel Gautier, Rex Williams and John Ruche at DeLand.

One day at Circus World Axel dropped by saying that he and Donna had just returned from a brief European vacation. His cousin Trolle Rhodin even had business cards made up and directed him where to go and whom to see, especially Circus Krone since they were distantly related.

In Munich he found that the show was in rehearsal but was directed to Mr. Sembach's secretary who led him to the great man's office and was instructed to wait outside, he watched as she presented his card and then return immediately saying "Herr Sembach is busy today" and handed him a program.

Axel GautierAxel Gautier on RBBBs 116th edition.

In 1993 Axel Gautier was killed by Reeba at Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus elephant retirement facility in Williston, Florida, he was taken by helicopter to the hospital, and he died in Shands Hospital at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He was 51.

May 5, 1993: Axel Gautier, one of the best-known elephant trainers in the world, was crushed to death when an elephant stepped on him at the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey elephant farm in Gainesville, Florida. Gautier was standing with three elephants in a corral when a 24-year-old female Asian elephant suddenly knocked him down and stepped on him. The circus veterinarian was standing nearby.

The circus trainer crushed to death by an elephant was looking through the lens of a video camera at the time and probably did not see the 8,000-pound animal approaching from behind, deputies said Friday.

Levy County Sheriff Ted Glass said Gautier was videotaping other Adult elephants at the time, and the camera's narrow field of vision apparently prevented him from seeing the 24-year-old female Asian elephant that attacked him.

The elephant involved was not a performer and was used exclusively for breeding. Ringling spokesman Rodney Huey said there had been no previous reports of problems with the animal.

In addition to his sons, he was survived by his wife, Donna, of Venice, who used to work with him in the show; three sisters, a half- brother and a grandson.


Total: 2 children

  1. Michael Gautier. Born: 1964.
  2. Kevin Gautier. Born: 1969.


Siblings through the father Lulu Gautier (1887-08-29-1949-01-04):

  1. Ingeborg Gautier

Axel Gautier s ancestral Ahnentafel:


Axel Gautier
Born: 1942-01-11

Louis Gautier

Born: 1887-08-29

Paternal Grandfather:
Jean-Baptiste Gautier

Born: 1841-11-24
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Jean Gautier
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Louisa Frese
Paternal Grandmother:
Marie Monseiller

Born: 1843-12-20
Paternal Great-grandfather::
Paternal Great-grandmother:

Edith Otto

Born: 1910-11-18

Maternal Grandfather:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Maternal Grandmother:

Maternal Great-grandfather:
Maternal Great-grandmother:

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). elephant trainer Alexander Gautier in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 11 December 2023 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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Categories elephant trainer | circus | Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus - Retirement Farm | Gautier family | Born 1942 | Dead 1993 | People from United States

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