Miss India at Mills Brothers Circus

† Miss India
ID Number:
Species: Asian elephant
Sex and age:Female, unknown years
Dead date: 1953-06-29
Death reason: disease: heart attack
Location:Mills Brothers Circus
ArrivedMills Brothers Circus 1950-00-00
from Polack Brothers Circus
Polack Brothers Circus
from Bud E. Anderson Circus
Born: wild
Document updated2013-03-25: burial place, text
Polack purchased from Laura Anderson.

1953-06-29: Died in Wallingford, CT: It is thought “Miss India” died early in the morning because residents of South Cherry Street, according to the story, heard “a great trumpeting at about that time in which all the elephants seemed to have joined in.”

The elephant had made her last performance the night before, and acted normally. But during her afternoon show, “Miss India” kept lying down and behaving unusually.

After it was found that the elephant had died, there was the issue of what to do with the carcass. The Meriden Record reported that a circus attendant stayed behind to make arrangements. Police in town began calling rendering plants in New Haven and Bridgeport “to see if the carcass could be turned into tallow.”

The Peabody Museum in New Haven was also contacted, but had inadequate staff to handle the elephant. “Finally, it was decided to bury her where she fell,” just east of the hangars at the old airport property, about 25 feet from South Cherry Street, according to the Record.

Sources, among others

  • http://www.myrecordjournal.com/wallingford/article_27c5cabe-9411-11e2-9337-0019bb2963f4.html
  • Bob Cline, Cheraw, South Carolina, United States.
  • Rita Sagraves (Stroud)/Una Sagraves Jones from Bradenton, Florida

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