Norma Jean on the day before she died in 1972.
|† Norma Jean||ID Number:|
|Species:||Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)|
|Sex and age:||Female ♀ 30 years old|
|Dead date:||† 1972-07-17|
|Death reason:||accident: killed by lightning|
|Location:||Clark and Walters Wild Animal Circus|
|Arrived||Clark and Walters Wild Animal Circus|
|Norma Jean died during a storm 1972 in Oquawka, Henderson County , when she was struck and killed by a bolt of lightning while chained to a tree in the town square. Her trainer, "Possum Red," was knocked 30 feet by the blast. She was buried next to the tree in Oquawka's town square, and a twelve-foot-tall limestone tombstone was raised on her grave, with the text: This memorial is dedicated in memory of an elephant named Norma Jean, who was killed by lightning at this location, and lies buried here, on initiative of retired druggist Wade Meloan. Norma Jean is celebrated each August by a festival in Oquawka.|
The circus, without its star attraction, closed down next year in 1973.
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