Amazing Animals Jumbo the Largest Elephant

About the amazing elephant Jumbo, history of the largest bush elephant held in captivity.


Probably the largest bush elephant ever held in captivity, Jumbo was bought by the London Zoological Gardens in 1865. He was loved by the English, who took their children to ride in a howdah on his back. They also admired his great size. When he was sold to P. T. Barnum, the circus entrepreneur, in 1882, the English were extremely unhappy. Even Queen Victoria protested. But it was too late.

Jumbo was crated and sent to the U.S., where he attained fame and fortune as the biggest elephant in the world. At the age of 16, his height at the shoulder was estimated at 10'9". One night, in 1885, after a performance, Jumbo and a baby elephant were being led across a seldom-used railroad track when an unscheduled freight train thundered around the bend. The lights and noise disoriented the huge pachyderm, and he was killed when his head was crushed between a boxcar and a flat-car.

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