Mary the Elephant

Just now I learned about a dark spot in Tennessee history, atleast something that locals find somewhat embarassing. To be honest, I find it mostly amusing because it was a long time ago and people living in Tennessee now can't really be responsible for what people did in 1916.

They hanged an elephant for killing its handler.

Her name was Mary and she was a part of a traveling Circus. In Kingsport she stepped on her handler's head. People along the traveling route got upset about it and in Erwin the Circus decided to hang the elephant. Johnson city and other places threatened to boycott the circus if Mary was still participating so the Circus people took care of the problem. But instead of doing it nice and clean, they made a spectacle of it and hanged the elephant. They used a rail road crane and 3.000 people wathced it. One obviously took a picture.

I guess this was before the animal rights movement.

I think it is hilarious thought. They actually did hang the elephant instead of shooting it or drowning it or any other way of killing it that would have been a lot easier that hanging it, (is it, "it" when it comes to an animal or would it be more appropriate with "her"?)


Comment entry:

Remember me?