Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) at
Carson and Barnes Circus in United States

dead elephant ☨ ♀ Minyak  dead elephant
Minyak in Madison Square Garden in April of 1960. Photo: Dominic Yodice
Minyak in Madison Square Garden in April of 1960. Photo: Dominic Yodice
Alternative name: Minjak


EEP nr3201
SSP nrT2035


Species:Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)
Sex and age:Female ♀ 32 years old
Born:* 1932-01-29 captive-born , number 1
Birth place: in Circus Carl Hagenbeck-Stellingen
Birth weight 127.00 kgs, 279.40 lbs

Parents: Jacky x ♀ Roma I
Dead: 1964-00-00
Death reason: unknown:
Locations - owners
Present / last location:Carson and Barnes Circus, in United States

Date of arrival

1964-00-00Carson and Barnes Circus
from Hoxie Brothers Circus

1962-00-00Hoxie Brothers Circus
from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

1960-00-00Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
from Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus International (South America Tour)

1960-00-00Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus International (South America Tour)
from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

1947-06-20Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
from Zoo Circus

1944-00-00Zoo Circus 1944-00-00
from Circus Carl Hagenbeck-Stellingen

1932-09-00Circus Carl Hagenbeck-Stellingen
from Leipzig Zoo

1932-07-13Leipzig Zoo
from Circus Carl Hagenbeck-Stellingen

Record history
History of updates2023-09-04

Latest document update2022-10-10 16:53:31
Relevant literature

† Minyak is a dead confiscated Female ♀ Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), , who died 1964-00-00 at Carson and Barnes Circus, in United States, .


The North American Regional Studbook lists this elephant with a Temporary Studbook Number, lacking "supporting documentation to validate their identity."

Minyak was born captive-born as birth number 1 1932-01-29 at Circus Carl Hagenbeck-Stellingen.


Parents of Minyak are: ♂ Jacky (father) and ♀ Roma I (mother).

Siblings through the father Jacky:

  1. 1934-05-01 -- † 1965-09-13 (F) Maja
  2. 1936-08-08 -- † 1953-07-31 (M) August


Minyaks ancestral Pedigree:


Sire (f):

Born: 1899

Sire ff:

Sire fff:
Dame ffm:
Dame fm:

Sire fmf:
Dame fmm:

Dame m:
Roma I

Born: 1905-1910

Sire mf:

Sire mff:
Dame mfm:
Dame mm:

Sire mmf:
Dame mmm:

Comments / pictures

Minjak was conceived in Leipzig Zoo, but various sources give various records for her birth place:

Contradictory records:

1. According to Hugo Schmidt she was born in a Zoo in Essen.
2. Gerhard Zapf gives in his book a very clear birthplace: at the Circus elephant tent while on tour in Essen.
3. EEP state she was born in Hamburg (Hagenbecks Tierpark)
4. According to EEG, she died in 1986 by Ringling, why she with 54 years should be the oldest captive-bred elephant.
5. SSP studbook state another death date than EEG.

Records about Minyak from EEPEuropean Studbook for Asian elephants state following records for the asian elephant Minyak:

3201 F 29 Jan 1932 JACKY ROMA-1 HAMBURG 29 Jan 1932 NONE Birth Minjak
CIRCUS 1 Jan 1950 NONE Transfer
1 Jan 1964 Death

Source: EEP studbook for Asian elephants online

During world war II she was send, together with other elephants, with the circus to Malmoe in Sweden, in order to be protected from the war. But all elephants became confiscated by the swedish government, and sold to Ringling Bros Circus.

Minyak and Sabu came from the Hagenbeck Zoo where they appeared in a five act "Kernaudi", "Minyak", "Mudu", "Sabu" and "Icky" where they were presented by Hugo Schmitt.
Hugo once told me that as the Allied bombing intensified in Germany he often spent the night with them under a concrete overpass nearby waiting for the all clear signal.
Hugo and the elephants were soon shipped out of the country into neutral Sweden with hopes they would be returned after the war but such was not the case, they were confiscated by the Swedish Government and eventually sold to the Ringling Show in 1947.
In 1961 the Ringling Show sent a unit to South America and "Minyak" and "Sabu" were included but on their return were both sold to Hoxie-Bartok Circus in 1962 (I might add that Hugo never owned these elephants) and thenUnited Nations Circus in 1963. (Same show?)
They were sold to D.R. Miller in 1964 and "Minyak" died shortly after arriving in Oklahoma and "Sabu" died a year later after being leased to Carson & Barnes Circus (owned by Jack Moore) for that season.

Hugo added that "Minyak" had a calf while in the Hagenbeck Zoo and that he touched it before Minyak did. Today I hear that with so many calves being born in captivity, that is almost always the case.

William Buckles Woodcock

Many are the films which have been shot at Stellingen or with our
help, many too the television shows. One of the finest of these was
Cecil B. deMille's great American colour film The Greatest Show on
Earth. Here, through our animals and tamers, we were unwilling
collaborators. That film, as it Happens, reminded me vividly of my
own young days in American circus work. However, it did bring
about another meeting with Minjak. In the German dubbing of that
film her name remained the same, but even without that I would have
known her from a hundred other elephants. Minjak, expropriated in
Sweden, was born at Stellingen. Now she had been filmed in the
biggest circus in the world, and was the star of all the other animals
in it. Her foot swayed menacingly over the head of a girl artiste. She
carried her principal producer, another girl performer, in her mouth.
And she went through it all as magnificently as she had originally
learned in our Stellingen school. When I saw that film, I found myself
drying my eyes in the kindly darkness of the cinema.

Animals Are My Life, by Lorenz Hagenbeck
Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). Minyak, Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) located at Carson and Barnes Circus in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 26 September 2023 at https://www.elephant.se/database2.php?elephant_id=1408. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:


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Categories1964 deaths | 1932 births | With Pedigree | Elephants from Carson and Barnes Circus | United States | Asian elephants

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