Siam at Berlin Zoo

Male Asian elephant Siam at Berlin Zoo

A zookeeper feeds Siam in 1945. Siam was the only elephant who survived the bombings in 1943.
† Siam
ID Number:
Species: Asian elephant
Sex and age:Male 26 years
Dead date: 1947
Death reason: disease: enteritis
Location:Berlin Zoo
ArrivedBerlin Zoo 1933-00-00 from Circus Krone
Circus Krone 1924-00-00
from
Born:1921 wild
Document updated2009-03-07: death reason
2013-04-16: book, text
Enteritis means inflammation of the intestines.

Siam, together with 9o other animals (out of 3,715) survived the second world war, and the bombings of Berlin Zoo.

Interestingly, most World War II "trivia" sites inaccurately repeat the myth that "The first Allied bombs to fall on Berlin killed the zoo's only elephant." The truth is that the Berlin zoo never had only one elephant, and the bombs that fell on the city in 1944 killed seven of the zoo's elephants, leaving Siam the sole surviving pachyderm. Somehow, this has been distorted over time and the myth has been turned into "amusing" trivia for war buffs.
Curtis Christopher Comer

Curtis Christopher Comer has written a book called "The Elephant Gate: the Story of Siam, the Last Elephant in Berlin"


Article about Siam and the other animals that survived the war in October 15, 1945 article in Life magazine, entitled "Berlin's Last Elephant," (page 42).

Sources, among others

  • Documentation 2002 - Elephants in European Zoos and Safari Parks published by European Elephant Group: Haufellner, Schilfarth, Schweiger

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