13.09.

1916: The Elephant Mary Cruelly Hanged in Front of “Audience”

1916: The Elephant Mary Cruelly Hanged in Front of “Audience”
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 13 September 1916
  • The elephant was hanged by the neck from a railcar-mounted industrial crane, which allegedly ruptured during the first attempt, and the poor animal fell to the ground. The wounded animal died during a second attempt.

On this day in 1916, the elephant Mary was hanged in Erwin, Tennessee.

The elephant was hanged in front of thousands of people, allegedly due to the death of the man who worked there as a trainer – Red Eldridge (he had started to work there only a day before his death).

He was supposed to take care of the animal, for example he had to take Mary to a nearby lake. But, the mentioned incident occurred, and the animal allegedly killed him.

It has remained unknown why the elephant was angry. Some people think Eldridge didn’t treat Mary good, so the animal attacked him.

It is possible that the elephant had a broken tooth (which was discovered during a sort of autopsy after the animal had been killed), and that Red Eldridge touched the animal’s tooth.

People were apparently very angry because the man had died. The authorities allegedly told the circus’s owner they didn’t want the animal to perform. Therefore, he decided to kill the elephant.

The execution was something akin to a performance, and the elephant was hanged by the neck from a railcar-mounted industrial crane, which allegedly ruptured during the first attempt, and the poor animal fell to the ground. The wounded animal died during a second attempt.

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