1949: Tillie, the dancing elephant, and her donkey companion, Joshua, are photographed with some visitors to Nay Aug Park Zoo.
|† Tillie||ID Number:||SSP Number: T2296 -|
|Species:||Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)|
|Sex and age:||Female ♀ 42 years old|
|Dead date:||† 1966|
|Death reason:||euthanised: infected feet; aggressive|
|Location:||Nay Aug Park Zoo|
|Arrived||Nay Aug Park Zoo 1935-05-31|
from Benson Wild Animal Farm (Bedford Zoo)
|Born:||1924 wild India|
|Document updated||2011-01-01: New elephant RE|
2011-01-16: Text RE
The North American Regional Studbook lists this elephant with a Temporary Studbook Number, lacking "supporting documentation to validate their identity."The North American Regional Studbook lists this elephant as Lost-to-Follow up, or a "documented animal whose current location is unknown." Elephant.se will assume this elephant is dead until more information is provided or discovered.
Following the death of the Nay Aug Park Zoo's first elephant Queenie in May 1935, the city began another fundraiser to purchase a replacement elephant. Tillie was purchased from the John Benson Wild Animal Farm in New Hampshire, along with her companion donkey, Joshua.
In 1938, the Nay Aug Park Zoo celebrated Tillie's eighth birthday and built a new enclosure for her and the donkey. The following year, an ailing Tillie was diagnosed by Larry Davis of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus with a 'cold of the kidneys' due to the concrete flooring in the barn. It was replaced with wood. The donkey died twenty years later in December 1958.
In February 1966, Tillie slammed zookeeper George Lowry into a wall with her trunk. She was euthanized later that year (before September), though it is unknown whether it was due to her more aggressive nature or her infected and abscessed feet.
The news article documenting the history of Nay Aug Park Zoo's elephants states Tillie celebrated her eighth birthday in 1938, though they later state she turned forty two between 1965-1966. The North American SSP lists her birth as 1924. The same article also states Tillie was put down in 1966 after she attacked her keeper. A different news article states the "aged and arthritic" animal was euthanized in 1971. She was first given a shot of curare and then a shot of nicotine before she finally died from a bullet shot to her head. If Tillie in fact died in 1971 and not in 1966, this diminishes the Cheryl Kashuba's statement that each elephant at the Nay Aug Park Zoo was solitary and was a successor to the previous resident. Tillie and Princess Penny would have resided together from 1966 to 1971 until they both died that year, replaced by Toni.
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