The Death of Jumbo Trying to Save a Baby Elephant


New York, September 18th  A "Sun" special from Buffalo of 17th says:  A, Haight, representing Barnum, arrived here this morning on the way to London, Ont., to join the circus.  He says the truth about the killing of Jumbo on Tuesday evening had not been published.  After the show in St. Thomas, Ont., that evening the driver started down the track with Jumbo and the baby elephant,  Tom Thumb to where the Grand Trunk Freight train was standing.


There are a great many tracks at that point, used in switching cars on the Grand Trunk Air-Line, which there joins the main track was a train and on the other a steep embankment.  As the train came around the curve the keeper tried to induce Jumbo to go down the embankment, but he would not.


The reason at first was not apparent.  The baby elephant was in the rear, and as the train approached Jumbo began to bellow and swing his trunk.  The little elephant seemed dazed, but did not get out of the way.  As the engine was closing upon them Jumbo raised on his hind legs as though to protect the baby, and then quick as thought dropped down and grabbed him in his trunk and hurled him with great force over all the tracks and against a freight car, twenty rods away, where he dropped down, whining like a puppy with a core foot.  Jumbo in saving the life of his protégé, entirely neglected his own chance to escape.  The locomotive struck him will force in the side, crowding him against some cars on the siding nearest him and fairly squeezing the life out of him.


When they came to the end of the switch the engine left the tract with five freight cars that stood on the siding.  Then there was a scene never to be forgotten by those who witnessed it.  The mangled beast roared with pain, and the little elephant roared as  loud as he could in sympathy.  The crush was too heavy to leave any chance of recovery and the bystanders could only wait for Jumbo's death.  It was not long delayed.  In three minutes he turned over on his back dead.  It was found that the baby elephant sustained a broken leg and as there was no help for him, orders were given that he be put out of his misery, which order was carried into effect yesterday afternoon.



From an article in the Mariposa Gazette dated Sept 25, 1885

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