Tembo at Copenhagen Zoo (Zoologisk Have)

Male African Bush elephant Tembo at Copenhagen Zoo (Zoologisk Have)

Photo: © Jens Madsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
† Tembo
ID Number:
Species: African Bush elephant
Sex and age:Male 36 years
Status:musth
Dead date: 1970-05-05
Death reason: euthanised: uncontrollable, destroyed stable
Location:Copenhagen Zoo (Zoologisk Have)
ArrivedCopenhagen Zoo (Zoologisk Have) 1936-06-05
from Christoph Schulz
Born:1934 wild Sudan
Body height (m and feet): 3.45 meter, 11.3 feet
Document updated2009-09-09: text
2012-02-29: height


Tembo three years old, at arrival to Copenhagen.
Caught in Sudan by Christoffer Schuls.

First rented through firma August Fochelmann in Hamburg from Fred Lawson in London for 500 danish crowns/month, 1937 bought, and donated from Dr. Böje Benzon.

Broke his left tusk 1940-01-20.

Ate a camera from a visitor in 1959.

In May 1970 he started to become very aggressive,a d destroyed gates etc in his stable.

The reason for his sudden violent behavior was caused by one of his teeth(molars)where growing downwards and his jawbone was split in two.

Experts stated that it had caused him severe pain. Before the sufferings began, he was a very calm and friendly elephant both towards his keepers and to the public.

At death his weight was minimum 6 250 kgs. One of europes largest elephants ever, maybe even worldwide. His death created negative feelings with the danish public. The day after several windows were destroyed in the house of the Copenhagen Zoo director.

Sources, among others

  • Height: Henry Merker, Tiergarten-Forum
  • Jens Madsen, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Erland Axel Wadsten
  • Elefanter i Köpenhavns Zoologisk Haave siden 1878, by Henning, Copenhagen, Denmark

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